SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (CBS) — The Illinois House of Representatives late Wednesday passed legislation that would create a fully elected school board in Chicago by 2027.
The final vote was 70-41 in favor.READ MORE: Chicago Sky Win First WNBA Championship As They Top Phoenix Mercury
The legislation would create a 21-member school board starting in 2025, starting with a hybrid board including 10 members elected in November 2024, and 11 members appointed by the mayor, including the board’s president. The board would then become fully elected in 2027, with voters electing 11 members, including the president in November 2026.
The Chicago Teachers Union issued a statement Wednesday evening expressing delight in the vote.
“Today’s vote represents the will of the people, and after more than a quarter of a century, moves our district forward in providing democracy and voice to students and their families,” the union said in the statement. “This is the culmination of a generation of work by parents, rank-and-file educators and activists, who recognized the shortcomings of mayoral control of our schools and demanded better for our children. This is their legacy. This is Karen’s legacy.READ MORE: Jubilant And Inspired Fans, Booming Businesses Near Wintrust Arena As Chicago Sky Win WNBA Championship
Mayor Lori Lightfoot has opposed the legislation, calling it “ill-constructed,” and she had urged the House not to vote on the plan until lawmakers address her concerns.
Lightfoot has been outspoken in her criticism of the legislation – in particular, the size of the board, which she calls unwieldy; the lack of campaign spending limits for the elected board seats; and the fact the legislation as it stands would require people to be citizens to either serve on the board or vote for board members.
Lightfoot said that would disenfranchise thousands of Chicago Public Schools parents, as many students and parents in the district are not citizens.
Following the House vote, state Rep. Delia Ramirez (D-Chicago) – a sponsor of the bill – filed a motion to reconsider. The purpose is likely to keep the bill in the House for a short time longer so that a lawmaker who opposes the legislation does not try to delay it.MORE NEWS: Amid Continuing Water Pressure Woes In Dixmoor, Residents Aren't Confident The Next Fix Will Be The Last
Gov. JB Pritzker is expected to sign the bill when it reaches his desk.