July 19, 2012
For Immediate Release
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ALDERMAN SAWYER CALLS FOR AN ELECTED SCHOOL BOARD
Alderman Roderick T. Sawyer of the Sixth (6th) Ward introduced a resolution, which is calling for a referendum for an elected school board to be placed on the November 6th ballot. He is part of the coalition of Aldermen who have taken this position and supported such resolutions in their wards.
“The people who make the decisions about our neighborhood schools need to be held accountable to the community,” Alderman Sawyer said. “An elected school board would help to build city-wide coalitions to ensure that the voice of the people is heard in public education.”
The Chicago Board of Education is currently under mayoral control with all school board members being appointed by the Mayor. Chicago schools have been under Mayoral control since 1995 under the administration of Mayor Richard M. Daley. This current school board is weighing decisions concerning the length of the school day, balancing the budget which will affect classroom sizes, the size of teacher salary increases, and which schools will be shut down for poor performance. For the previous two years this school board has also levied the maximum property tax increase allowable under law, yet there is no oversight or accountability of their actions to anyone but the Mayor.
“I always support bringing the community into the process,” Alderman Sawyer said. “Our schools are the backbone of our communities and we can no longer allow the future of public education to be something that is dictated to us.”
The Chicago Teachers Union are strong supporters of the elected school board.
Chicago is the only city in the state that does not have an elected school board.