State lawmakers holding meetings on public education

November 10, 2015
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Several local state lawmakers, including Rep. Camille Lilly, are holding meetings in coming days about whether CPS should have an elected school board.

More than 50 members of the Illinois House of Representatives – including Lilly and state Rep. La Shawn Ford – have signed onto HB 4268, which would change the governance of Chicago Public Schools from mayor appointed to a board elected by local voters.

Lilly’s meeting will take place from 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 19th in the Austin Town Hall auditorium, 5610 W. Lake St.

CPS is the only school district in the state whose board members are appointed by the mayor; all the other 800-some districts have an elected school board. Groups like Raise Your Hand and the Chicago Teachers Union have been pushing for the change.

This week, the Chicago Teachers Union’s political action and legislative committee released its early endorsement list for the March 15, 2016, primary; Ford was among six state lawmakers winning the union’s early backing.

CTU officials say Illinois General Assembly candidates participated in an extensive screening process with its rank-and-file members that included completing a mandatory questionnaire that addresses a myriad of issues impacting the lives of educators.

“We are focused on getting an elected, representative school board in Chicago, progressive revenue solutions that will fund our school district and halt the attacks on our pensions, and the full restoration of our collective bargaining rights,” CTU President Karen Lewis said in a press release.

 

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