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Record #: R2015-112   
Type: Resolution Status: Failed to Pass
Intro date: 3/18/2015 Current Controlling Legislative Body: Committee on Education and Child Development
Final action: 5/20/2015
Title: Call for Illinois General Assembly to promulgate and enact replacement of appointed membership of Chicago Board of Education with elected school board for District 299
Sponsors: Fioretti, Bob, Arena, John, Munoz, Ricardo, Hairston, Leslie A., Foulkes, Toni, Sposato, Nicholas, Waguespack, Scott, Pope, John
Attachments: 1. R2015-112.pdf
Related files: R2015-407
WHEREAS, In a non-binding referendum conducted in conjunction with this city's February 24, 2015 Municipal election, the voters of the 37 wards that were allowed to vote on the matter overwhelmingly supported the creation of an elected Chicago Board of Education; and
WHEREAS, 86% of those voting from Northwest Side neighborhoods of Ukrainian Village, Humboldt Park, Logan Square and Wicker Park decisively favored electing a school board who would be more responsive to their needs; and
WHEREAS, West side neighborhoods stretching from River North and West Loop to Austin polled more than 90% for an elected Board of Education; and
WHEREAS, In the South Side neighborhoods of Chatham, Auburh/Grisham, Englewood and Washington Park, the "Yes" votes for an elected school board in District 299 tallied at more than 92%; and
WHEREAS, None of the totals in the 37 wards voting in the referendum fell below an 82% approval rating. In fact, approval for an elected Chicago Board of Education polled higher than the total votes for the top two Aldermanic candidates in those wards in which the referendum was placed on the ballot. Even in two uncontested Aldermanic races, the approval for an elected school board outpolled the votes garnered by the incumbent candidates; and
WHEREAS, The demand ofthe taxpayers for an elected representative school board has grown even stronger since voters in 327 precincts approved a similar advisory referendum in the November, 2012 General Election by a very wide margin; and
WHEREAS, Under the guise of "reform", the currently appointed Board of Education has allowed class size to increase. Art, music, physical education and after-school activities have been diminished or eliminated altogether while senseless so-called "high-stakes" testing eats up more classroom learning time. The developmental models for pre-school and kindergarten curricula has been radically eroded and has drifted back to the Prussian models of rote learning and testing; and
WHEREAS, More and more parents and concerned citizens are questioning the sagacity of this direction and are demanding a role in the decision-making process at the ballot box. They only ask that they be accorded the same rights as every other taxpayer in Illinois outside Chicago's city limits. All other Illinois school districts are governed by locally-elected school boards, who hire a superintendent that hire administrators who must be approved by that board; and
WHEREAS, It is incumbent upon the Illinois legislature and the governor to accede to this most modest demand by the Chicago taxpayer to be vested with the same right as the rest of their constituents; now therefore
BE IT RESOLVED That we, the undersigned members ofthe City of Chicago City Council, gathered together this 18th Day of March, 2015 AD hereby memorialize the Illinois state Legislature to expeditiously promulgate and enact statutes that replace the currently appointed Chicago Board of Education through the establishment of an elected representative school board for District 299 as it has done for all other Illinois school districts.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED That Governor Bruce V. Rauner sign with out delay such legislation into law.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED That a suitable copy of this resolution be prepared and presented to the Honorable Michael J. Madigan, Speaker of the Illinois House of Representatives, the Honorable John J. Cullerton, President of the Illinois Senate and the Honorable Bruce V. Rauner, Governor of the State of Illinois.