Next Hearing Will Examine Best Ways to Transition to a Fully-Elected School Board

SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois Senate Special Committee on the Chicago Elected Representative School Board is seeking further input from parents, education advocates, community groups and other stakeholders regarding the transition to a fully-elected school board.

The committee will host a public hearing online at 5:00 p.m. on Thursday, October 12 at to explore suggestions on how the transition can be done in a way that ensures equitable representation for all of Chicago’s diverse communities. Recent hearings have raised questions about a number of provisions required under current law, including the hybrid period in which some districts will be represented by members who are elected and others will be represented by members who are appointed, as well as the petition and election process for prospective board candidates.

Comments can be submitted prior to the hearing via email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., or online at That website also hosts an online map-making portal where anyone can draw and submit proposed district boundaries for consideration.

“Changes of this magnitude aren’t easy, and we understand the concerns raised by our friends, neighbors and community members about the complexity of this process,” said Senate Majority Leader Kimberly A. Lightford, who is serving as Chair of the committee. “We are dedicated to getting this right and look forward to diving deeper on these important questions.”

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.

Under current law, ten members of the Chicago Board of Education will be elected by voters during the November 2024 election, 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.

School board districts must be consistent with the Illinois Voting Rights Act, which 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.

“This effort has always been community-led, and the continued dedication of parents, students and advocates will help carry us forward,” said Sen. Robert Martwick, Vice-Chair of the Special Committee on the Chicago Elected Representative School Board and sponsor of the legislation creating an elected school board in Chicago. “There are various opinions about what these districts should look like and how the Board should ultimately be structured. But we share the same goals: to bring accountability and transparency to Chicago Public Schools so it can better serve our children.”

“We are setting a new path forward that will result in better representation of all of our city’s vibrant neighborhoods,” said Sen. Omar Aquino, Vice-Chair of the Special Committee on the Chicago Elected Representative School Board. “I thank everyone who has fought so hard to get us to this point. Together we will get the job done for our children.”


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