CHICAGO GOP: PROPOSED CHICAGO SCHOOL DISTRICT MAP
IS "A GERRYMANDERED DISGRACE”
The Chicago Republican Party today decried the proposed map of the Chicago School Board Districts released by Illinois Senate Democrats, as well as the provision of the current bill establishing the new “temporarily hybrid” school board in Chicago.
“This map is a gerrymandered disgrace,” stated Chicago GOP Chair Steve Boulton. “Parents living at 79th and Western share a board district with parents in Hegewisch, 12 miles away. Parents in the West Loop share a board district with those near Marquette Park, almost nine miles away. The very statute calling for the establishment of these districts mandates that they be “compact," but that principle has once again been ignored. This is not a way for local voices to be heard, it is just an exercise in keeping political power.”
The Republican leader also called out significant provisions of the current bill to establish the new school board. A key recent change, submitted by Rep. Kam Buckner (D-Chicago), was to remove any requirement of City Council approval of Mayoral appointments to the Board.
Also, a change put in by Sen. Rob Martwick (D-Chicago) allows the Board itself, - not the Mayor or City Council - to fill Board vacancies.
“These changes give power to the insiders, not the people’s elected representatives,” Boulton observed.
“The electoral process is as ridiculous as the map,” Boulton stated. “With the election pushed to November 2024, candidates must submit their signature petitions nearly a year before the election. That benefits only those in power, while most average citizens will not realize just how early the petition process begins and ends, thereby keeping them off the ballot. The Republican Party strongly questions whether the huge delay is even constitutional, much less fair.”
Finally, the promises of electoral reform by limiting the amount spent on school board races has never appeared in the bill.
“These races are supposed to be for the parents to decide, but they will all be washed out with Pritzker and CTU money. While the legislation bars school employees from being on the Board themselves, rest assured that this legislation ensures CTU control of Chicago public schools.“