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Citywide Hearings Designed to Gather Input on District Boundaries

SPRINGFIELD – The Special Committee on the Chicago Elected Representative School Board will hold citywide hearings to gather public input on the creation of new Chicago elected school board districts.

Stakeholders including parents, education advocates, community groups and others are encouraged to participate in the hearings as legislators seek to gather input on mapmaking from across the city’s diverse communities. Members of the public may request to provide in-person testimony, submit written testimony, or submit witness slips in advance of the hearings via the General Assembly website www.ilga.gov or through email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

“As we work to ensure the leadership of our state’s largest school district reflects the diversity of our neighborhoods, it’s important for community members to make sure their voices are heard throughout this process,” said Senate Majority Leader Kimberly A. Lightford, who is serving as Chair of the committee. “Transitioning the Chicago Board of Education to an elected body is about empowering our families, and that starts now.”

The Special Committee on the Chicago Elected Representative School Board hearing schedule is as follows:

April 5, 4 p.m. – 6 p.m., George Westinghouse College Prep, 3223 W. Franklin Blvd., Chicago, IL 60624

April 6, 11 a.m. – 1 p.m., Imani Village, 901 E. 95th St., Chicago, IL 60619

April 12, 4 p.m. – 6 p.m., Copernicus Center, 5216 W. Lawrence Avenue, Chicago, IL 60630

April 13, 4 p.m. – 6 p.m., National Museum of Mexican Art, 1852 W. 19th Street, Chicago, IL 60608 

April 17, 6 p.m. – 8 p.m., Virtual Hearing

The hearings follow the launch of an online map making portal that allows the public to draw and submit proposed district boundaries. The portal can be accessed at www.ilsenateredistricting.com. All maps submitted through the portal will be reviewed as part of the public record.

“This is the start of an exciting new era in community-led education,” said Sen. Robert Martwick, who is serving as Vice Chair of the committee and sponsored the legislation creating an elected school board in Chicago. “Parents, advocates and community groups have long asked for a direct say in how Chicago Public Schools are run. That time is finally here.”

The General Assembly faces a July 1 deadline to draw Chicago school board districts, which must be consistent with the Illinois Voting Rights Act. That law ensures districts are crafted in a way that preserves clusters of minority voters if they are of size or cohesion to exert collective electoral power.

Currently appointed by the mayor, the Chicago Board of Education will transition to become fully-elected over the course of a two-year hybrid period.

During the November 2024 election, ten members of the Chicago Board of Education will be elected by voters, and ten members and the board president will be appointed by the mayor. Elected members will serve four-year terms, while appointed members, including the appointed board president, will serve two-year terms. The board will become fully-elected after the November 2026 general election, when the number of electoral districts will expand from 10 districts to 20 districts.

“The strength of our city lies in its diversity, and we look forward to hearing the ideas our neighbors will bring forward,” said Sen. Omar Aquino, Vice-Chair of the committee. “We are facing a once-in-a-generation opportunity to chart a new path forward for our schools, students and communities.” 

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