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The race for City Hall

Jobs and schools promise to be top issues in next year’s city elections. The mayor’s education agenda faces its toughest test in the African-American communities that gave him strong support in 2011.

Voters approve referenda on elected board, teacher pensions

Two advisory ballot measures on education passed as voters went to the polls on Tuesday, but the measures aren’t binding.

One, which was on the ballot citywide, asked if the state should pick up the tab for Chicago’s teacher pensions. The state pays for teacher pensions elsewhere, but Chicago covers its own – in effect, charging Chicago residents twice. Seventy-seven percent of voters approved it, according to preliminary results from the Chicago Board of Elections.

However, critics of the measure have pointed out that with the state facing a funding crisis, it’s highly unlikely to make that move. State officials have discussed, however, shifting the burden of all teacher pensions onto local school districts.

Another, which only made it onto the ballot in 327 precincts, asked voters if Chicago’s school board should be elected like others in the state.

Chicago’s school board has historically been appointed, although it was not until 1995 that the city’s mayor gained unfettered control of the appointment process.

The measure was backed by Communities Organized for Democracy in Education (CODE), a coalition of ten groups. 

Raul Botello, associate director of Albany Park Neighborhood Council, says the next step is for parents and students in CODE to lobby Chicago’s state legislators. State Rep. LaShawn Ford (D-Chicago) may introduce a bill that would create a task force to study the issue.

 “Chicago legislators should really be listening to the voters,” Botello said. “Even if it is advisory, I think legislators have a responsibility to listen to the people and the voters in their communities.”


Preliminary Election Results

Should the state of Illinois cover the cost of Chicago’s teacher pensions?

Yes: 77%

No: 23%

Total: 855,847 voters


Should Chicago have an elected school board?

Yes: 87%

No: 13%

Total: 70,260 voters

Source: Chicago Board of Elections


Anonymous wrote 2 years 9 weeks ago

DFER winners and losers

I hope that the statehouse is paying attention to what voters in Chicago want -- an elected school board.

Unfortunately, special interest groups have a lot of hedge fund money to support candidates that are pro-privatization.

northside wrote 2 years 9 weeks ago


Emanuel got in the office via a supposedly grassroots president. Why wouldn't he want that same powers of the people running our schools. Should aft take this issue to Obama since they endorsed him. Maybe they dont care either....i really dont know

Anonymous wrote 2 years 9 weeks ago


Emanuel's good friend is Chicago billionaire and investor Bruce Rauner. Rauner helped Emanuel during the nearly two years that Emanuel spent in investment banking. Emanuel earned $18 million in that job.
Almost $1 mln a month.

Right when Emanuel announc he would run for mayor, in fall of 2010, Rauner invited a PAC to come to Illinois from Washington state. the PAC is Stand for Children. This group got over $3 million in funding before Christmas from Rauner, Pritzker, Crowne, Griffin and other Chicago billionaires who are very conservative and usually Republican. They do not like unions. Stand used that money to order to push through the Illinoi law (SB7) that stripped teachers of seniority and tenure when it comes to hiring and firing and required teacher evaluations to be based on student test scores. It also gave the mayor the right to lengthen the school day, among other things. This law is so one-sided, and has angered so many parents and teachers, that the strike in September was inevitable. And it continues in place.
However, Barbara Byrd-Bennett is now pushing an amendment to a bill that would require CPS give reasonable notice of school closings. The deadline to announce the names of the 100 schools tht CPS wants to close is Dec. 1. CPS doesn't want to tell anyone until March 31, 2013, which schools it will close.

This unreasonable delay will cause a lot of trouble for the thousands of parents, teacher and students who will be in those 100 schools. There will be no time for them to make other arrangements for their kids to go to another school because all the deadlines will have passed by March 31.

This is a bad deal for parents, teachers and kids.

You should call your state rep and senator ad house speaker Madigan and state sen Linda Chapa La Via and tell hem how you feel about CPS getting the law amended whenever it suits them.

Northside wrote 2 years 9 weeks ago


I was kinda of being cynical in my comment. BUT thanks anonymours I I just am glad you affirmed what I thought was true. I just find it ironic too, that a man with more millions than 99% of the world needed to "rent out" his house his beloved Chicago or "residency". It seems insane he even got residency and be able to get to be mayor!! Now, I , who have been an honest citizen and teacher for years feel like I am some type of criminal under his new "Boys of Berlin" like principals. It's scary out there!! I voted for Obama the other a moment of I feel like a complete hypocrite when I just think that he plays basketball and school with Duncan and is a BFF with Rahm!!

Anonymous wrote 2 years 9 weeks ago


it really is a bit of a downer.

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