A coalition of community groups is urging Illinois lawmakers to go back to the board and approve a new map for Chicago’s elected school board districts that better represents the rich diversity of Chicago Public Schools (CPS), which overwhelmingly serve students of color.
The community coalition submitted its own, revised map proposal today. The coalition’s district map meets the voting rights requirements and better reflects the actual population of CPS serves.
The community coalition represents the parent, community and labor organizations that had been fighting and organizing across the city for the last decade to win an elected school board for Chicago.
“Chicago will have an elected school board thanks to the parents, students, educators, and community-based organizations that have been demanding a seat at the CPS table for more than a decade,” Rod Wilson, executive director of the Lugenia Burns Hope Center, said. “We fought to bring democracy to CPS so that our school board would reflect the people our schools serve. So, the legislature must do the difficult work of ensuring the school board map advances that goal.”
The coalition that created the new, more representative map includes Pilsen Alliance, Raise Your Hand, Lugenia Burns Hope Center, Kenwood Oakland Community Organization, Brighton Park Neighborhood Council, Illinois Families for Public Schools, Northside Action 4 Justice, Palenque LSNA, and the Chicago Teachers Union.
“Our map will give parents and others who care about public education in our city a fair shot at representing their communities on the newly elected school board,” Jazmin Cerda, a CPS parent, said. “Democracy and representation of communities that have been marginalized for decades is what this is all about. We must get this right.”