CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) — The Chicago Teacher’s Union is strongly opposing a plan by the School Board to relax ethics rules so that a former board member can become the Chief Operating Officer.
Former aide to Mayor Emanuel, Arnaldo “Arnie” Rivera, stepped down from the board ahead of the announcement that CEO Janice Jackson wanted to make him COO. However, state law and the CPS’s ethics rules don’t allow a board member to work for the school system for a year after leaving.
CPS is seeking a two-year waiver from the State Board of Education and is expected to vote to relax it’s own rules later Wednesday.
Outside School Board headquarters in the Loop, Chicago Teacher’s Union Vice President Jesse Sharkey said he was “dismayed” when he heard about the plan.
He said a school system plagued by scandal should not be weakening ethics rules, noting the forced resignations of the last three CEOs.
“I think they can’t help themselves. I think it has a lot to do with the fact that ultimately it’s the Mayor calling the shots and you can keep changing CEOs, as long as the person assigning the CEOs is the same you are going to wind up with the same problem; which is ultimately why I think we need an elected school board,” he said.
And he said if the new CEO wants to regain the public trust she needs to draw a clear line between the practices of the past and the present.
In Sharkey’s view, as long as the Mayor controls the board nothing’s going to change.