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Chicago inches one step closer to an elected school board

3/03/2016
The Chicago Teachers Union (CTU) issued the following statement regarding today’s passage out of the Illinois House of Representatives of HB557, which provides for the general election of the Chicago Board of Education, and HB4579, which provides that a separate tax shall be levied by the Chicago Board of Education for the purpose of dedicated employer contributions to the Public School Teachers' Pension and Retirement Fund of Chicago:
“Today’s overwhelming votes with bipartisan support for pension levy restoration and an elected, representative school board (ERSB) are examples of Springfield heeding the will of taxpayers, parents, students and educators who have been calling for democracy in our school district,” said CTU President Karen Lewis. “For more than a decade, communities throughout the city of Chicago have worked to establish a stable, well-managed and fiscally responsible Chicago Board of Education, and with today’s vote, the Illinois House took an important step toward recognizing the diversity of our city and improving democracy for all.

“The Chicago Teachers Union thanks parents, students, retirees and members of the Grassroots Education Movement (GEM), the Grassroots Collaborative and a number of community-based organizations that have lobbied for an ERSB for their dedication and commitment to the education of thousands of families. The Union also thanks Speaker Michael Madigan for his leadership and commitment to the voters of Illinois, and extends our most sincere gratitude to the chief sponsor of HB557, Rep. Robert Martwick, and chief co- sponsors, state representatives Jaime Andrade, Mary Flowers, La Shawn Ford and Elgie Sims,” Lewis continued.

“Nearly one year ago, 90 percent of Chicago voters expressed their support for an elected school board, and now, the city’s students and their families are closer to ending the devastation of mayoral control and Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s handpicked Board of Education. The CTU now calls on the Senate to pass this bill and give the voters what is long overdue—democracy in our education. We are confident that strength and voice will continue to be on the side of the people, and in an atmosphere of deep division, state lawmakers will embrace this awesome responsibility of restoring faith in the leadership of our public schools,” she said.

Read the full statement on the CTU website.
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