1988 News Briefs
March: Summit Plan
A majority of the Education Summit adopts a plan calling for local control of schools and more resources, e.g., parent and teacher training centers, expanded early childhood programs, higher teacher salaries.
May: Sawyer/Summit dispute
The office of Interim Mayor Eugene Sawyer unveils proposed state legislation that ostensibly implements the Summit's recommendations. Denouncing the proposal as a perversion, the Summit dissolves.
June: Springfield negotiations
Hundreds of activists lobby the Illinois Legislature for reform. Corporate CEOs jet to Springfield to join in. House Speaker Michael Madigan (D-Chicago) convenes reform leaders to draft a compromise bill; he insists it must be "revenue neutral." On the last day of the session, it falls one vote short of passage in the Senate.
July: Legislative approval
The Legislature approves the 127-page Chicago School Reform Act, which veers from the Summit proposal by shifting significant powers and money from central office to local schools. Elected local school councils are created; they hire principals and approve local education and spending plans. Over five years, hundreds of millions of dollars in so-called state Chapter 1 funds will be shifted from the system budget to individual school budgets.
September: Thompson amendments
Gov. James R. Thompson uses his amendatory veto to make several minor and several major changes, drawing fire from the Black Caucus (on the issue of reform oversight, which was given to the Chicago School Finance Authority) and the -teachers union (on the issue of job protection for supernumeraries).
December: Reform Act compromise
A compromise is reached on the Reform Act.