March 7, 2024

Educators for Excellence-Chicago Applauds Illinois Lawmakers for Historic School Board Legislation

Chicago, IL – After more than a year of advocacy from Educators for Excellence-Chicago and its more than 7,000 members, Illinois lawmakers passed groundbreaking legislation today to ensure Chicago’s newly elected school board is equitably governed and accessible for all. The legislation calls for ten districts to vote in the upcoming school board election in November of 2024 and puts forth a district map that more accurately reflects the diversity of Chicago’s student population. Additionally, the legislation includes a Black Student Achievement Advisory Committee to address the needs of Black students.

“We’re thrilled that Representative Kam Buckner, Representative Ann Williams, and the House’s CPS Districting Working Group were aligned with Senator Robert Martwick, Senator Don Harmon, and the Senate Special Committee on the Chicago Elected Representative School Board in ensuring that Chicago has equitable and effective school board governance,” said Courtney Hrejsa, Executive Director of Educators for Excellence-Chicago. “Our organization, in coordination with educators and advocates across Chicago, has spent the last year calling for more equitable maps, so it’s deeply encouraging that lawmakers valued community input in the passage of this legislation and made necessary improvements over previous proposals.”

Educators for Excellence-Chicago was equally encouraged by the passage of a Black Student Achievement Advisory Committee as a permanent fixture in the oversight of the Board of Education.

“We testified alongside Illinois African Americans for Equitable Redistricting (IAAFER) to advocate for the creation of this committee, so it’s encouraging to see it codified into law,” said Organizer Corrina Demma, Educators for Excellence-Chicago. “This accomplishment is the product of tireless advocacy and underscores a commitment to enacting policies that directly address systemic inequities affecting our students.”

Educators for Excellence-Chicago hopes that lawmakers continue to intentionally include the voices of educators and other stakeholders throughout the transition to an elected school board.

“Today shows that good things happen when educators have input in the policies that impact their classrooms,” said Hrejsa. “We look forward to seeing the positive impacts of this legislation unfold for over 300,000 Chicago students, and we remain committed to elevating the voices of educators throughout the implementation of this change.”

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Educators for Excellence-Chicago Applauds Illinois Lawmakers for Historic School Board Legislation