How can you help win an Elected Representative School Board?

An overwhelming majority of Chicagoans in 327 precincts VOTED YES on the advisory referendum for an Elected Representative School Board (ERSB) for CPS in November of 2012. The Illinois legislature must change to law to allow Chicagoans the same right the residents of every other city and town in the state enjoy... the right to elect the people who run Chicago's public schools. This referendum has made our voices sound a resounding "YES" and will begin to push the process in the right direction. 

The results on the ERSB Referendum are 87% in favor where it was on the ballot. You can see exact results for every precinct at the Chicago Board of Elections website (pdf)

What you can do. 

  • Donate to the lawsuit to get an elected representative school board. 
  • Contact your elected officials. Ask them to support a Representative Elected School Board. If it was not on the ballot in your precinct, call your alderman and let them know you support an Elected Representative School Board. 
  • To find out if it was on the ballot in your precinct go to our map ESB Referendum - Precinct Map . You can see a list of all 327 Precincts and how they voted on the referendum here
  • Since the law must be changed in the Illinois Legislature, contact your IL State Representative, your State Senator and Governor Quinn to let them know you want an Elected Representative School Board in Chicago. 
  • Visit this site regularly or get on our mailing list through the "contact" page so you can learn about opportunities to volunteer.

Why we need an Elected Representative School Board 

  • CPS’s privatization policies—school closings, turnarounds and charters—do NOT improve education. They have been devastating to all children, especially those in African American and Latino communities. 
  • Class size has increased. Art, music, recess, PE & after school activities have been cut, while high-stakes testing eats up more classroom and learning time. It took a historic teacher strike just to hold the line on these losses, but the district is a long way from providing a rich curriculum for all students. 
  • CPS has expanded an unequal system: A top tier of selective schools for a few students and a bottom tier of resource-starved neighborhood schools for everyone else. 
  • CPS makes decisions, like the ones that forced the teachers' strike without any pubic input. 
  • CPS blames teachers, parents, and students for the problems THEY have created.    
  • The teachers were able to fight back against the board on some issues by striking, but the union is legally prohibited to strike over many issues that affect students, parents and communities in CPS.  School closures, class size, expansion of charters, uneven distribution of resources and the expansion of more and more standardized testing are all CPS board policies that are imposed with no input from students, parents or communities.  

An Elected Representative Board is a Necessary FIRST STEP to Improve Our Schools. 

  • An Elected Representative Board would be accountable to the citizens of Chicago as well as CPS teachers, parents and students and would be more diverse, reflecting the people it serves.  
  • By state law, Chicago is the only city in Illinois with an appointed school board. The Illinois Legislature must pass a law to enact an elected school board. Our advisory referendum will make our voices heard in Springfield and let our legislators know that they have our support for an Elected Representative Board.
  • Election requirements could mandate specific qualifications and cap campaign expenditures, thus reducing the influence of money and politics on education.