Proposal establishes 20 districts in 2024 election to maximize diversity

SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois Senate Democratic Caucus today introduced legislation outlining the electoral process for the new Chicago Elected School Board and establishing ethics requirements and conflict of interest provisions for members.

Under the attached proposal, 20 districts will be created for the 2024 election. Of those, 10 districts will be up for election in 2024, and 10 districts plus the Board Chair will be appointed by the mayor. A map detailing which districts will be elected and which districts will be appointed is available here and online at www.ilsenateredistricting.com. Beginning in 2026, the 10 districts with appointed members will be up for election.

The public is encouraged to review the proposed district boundaries and provide additional feedback via the website or through email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. School board districts must be consistent with the Illinois Voting Rights Act, which ensures districts are crafted in a way that preserves clusters of minority voters if they are of size or cohesion to exert collective electoral power. The draft map, its demographic data, and shape files can be found at www.ilsenateredistricting.com.

“During public hearings, we heard concerns about ensuring the Board represents all of Chicago’s unique and vibrant communities,” said Senate Majority Leader Kimberly A. Lightford, Chair of the Special Committee on the Chicago Elected Representative School Board. “By establishing 20 districts for the 2024 election, our goal is to maximize diverse representation in a way that would not be achievable with just 10 districts.”

In addition, the legislation establishes ethics requirements for Board members which mirror those for other school boards across the state, as well as conflict of interest provisions in line with the state’s existing Public Officer Prohibited Activities Act. The measure also calls for the creation of Black Student Achieve Committee within the Board, following feedback from education advocates, parents and community members about the need to focus on the disparity in academic performance among Black students.

“These ethics provisions establish important guardrails for Chicago Public Schools leadership, adding an extra layer of accountability,” said Sen. Robert Martwick, Vice-Chair of the Special Committee on the Chicago Elected Representative School Board and sponsor of the legislation creating an elected school board in Chicago. “Our communities deserve leaders who always place the best interest of the people first.”

“These changes are a reflection of the insight offered over the course of numerous public hearings,” said Sen. Omar Aquino, Vice-Chair of the Special Committee on the Chicago Elected Representative School Board. “Just as we want a new Board to be responsive to the community, we must also adjust to provide more equitable representation for all of Chicago.”

 

Elected School Board Organization and Election Process

Updated boundaries reflect suggestions made by public and advocacy groups

SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois Senate Democratic caucus released a new Chicago Elected School Board District map proposal, incorporating numerous suggestions made by the public and advocacy groups, including keeping more communities of interest whole.

The draft map is available for review at www.ilsenateredistricting.com, and reflects changes put forth by parents, education advocates and community groups gathered through online map making portals and during multiple public hearings. The public is encouraged to review the latest proposal and provide additional feedback via the website or through email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

The map consists of 20 proposed districts, including seven majority Black districts, six majority Latino districts, five majority White districts and two coalition districts.

“This new map better reflects the diversity of Chicago’s unique neighborhoods, and we thank the many parents, educators and community members whose guidance helped shape these district boundaries,” said Senate Majority Leader Kimberly A. Lightford, Chair of the Special Committee on the Chicago Elected Representative School Board. “Our communities deserve a school board that reflects their shared values, and a learning experience that will help our children thrive.”

School board districts must be consistent with the Illinois Voting Rights Act, which ensures districts are crafted in a way that preserves clusters of minority voters if they are of size or cohesion to exert collective electoral power.

Currently appointed by the mayor, the Chicago Board of Education is scheduled to become fully-elected over the course of a two-year hybrid period. Under existing law, ten members of the Chicago Board of Education will be elected by voters during the November 2024 election, and ten members and the board president will be appointed by the mayor. Elected members will serve four-year terms, while appointed members, including the appointed board president, will serve two-year terms. The board will become fully-elected after the November 2026 general election.

While questions have been raised about a number of these provisions, lawmakers are still studying these procedural election issues and the best ways to ensure the 2024 election provides equitable representation for all of Chicago’s communities.  Additional public feedback and suggestions on these matters can be submitted via email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

“We are dedicated to putting in place a community-led education system that better serves our families and students” said Sen. Robert Martwick, Vice-Chair of the Special Committee on the Chicago Elected Representative School Board and sponsor of the legislation creating an elected school board in Chicago. “That is achieved when we have local representation, promoting the best interests of the people they were elected to serve.”

“When our schools succeed, our city succeeds,” said Sen. Omar Aquino, Vice-Chair of the Special Committee on the Chicago Elected Representative School Board. “Working together, we are ushering in a brighter future for our children and our communities.”

Proposed Chicago Elected School Board Map - Senate Bill 3757

Proposed Chicago School Board Map

Proposed Chicago School Board Map

Proposed Chicago School Board Map

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