Lightfoot makes final argument against elected Chicago school board
Facing almost certain defeat, Mayor Lori Lightfoot on Monday threw the kitchen sink of arguments against an elected board of 21 members to run Chicago’s public schools – a plan favored by the Illinois General Assembly.
The mayor’s arguments began with the hundreds of millions of dollars Chicago taxpayers contribute each year to support CPS and non-teaching school employee pensions.
His note of details continued with the cost of school board errands and the lack of a cap on campaign funding that pushed the cost of a single seat on the elected Los Angeles school board above the million dollar mark.
The mayor also argued that a “citizenship test” would deny undocumented Chicagoans the right to vote, and the South and West sides that have bled the population would get the tree, with minimal representation.
“We have fought too long and too hard for many, many years to make sure that we give real support to the people who have come to town and want to raise their families, to do the right thing, to contribute to our taxes. based. Yet we’re going to vote on a bill that denies them the right to vote and then say, “Are we going to deal with this on a trailer bill?” “Lightfoot said, her voice rising as she referred to plans to pass follow-up legislation to address issues such as how undocumented parents might vote, among other issues.
“Too little, too late. If you know the bill is flawed, wait. Fix it.”
Lightfoot has argued for months that the elected, 21-member school board, which was passed by the Illinois Senate and is about to be approved at the Illinois House on Wednesday, is “heavy “.
On Monday, she proclaimed that the 21 members would be free to set their own salaries and hire their own staff, creating a “whole new set of bureaucracy”.
“This money should be reinvested in the school system to help our children” after a year of isolation, as they were learning largely at a distance with limited social connections, she said.
“Our children are suffering. The learning loss is real. The achievement gaps are real, ”added Lightfoot. “We need to focus like a laser beam to provide our children with the safest and most robust educational environment there can be. If we don’t talk about this, we are talking about the bad things.
None of the mayor’s arguments were new. And none are expected to change the outcome of Wednesday’s vote.
Illinois House President Emanuel “Chris” Welch predicted the bill would be approved in its current form, without the massive rewrite requested by Lightfoot.
The mayor’s argument that the south and west sides are being cheated has also been contested by experts in other cities who have argued that the larger the board, the better the chances of voters from low pockets. population of the city are empowered.
Lightfoot is well aware that her final argument before the vote is unlikely to spare her what will almost certainly be an embarrassing and bitter political defeat.
That didn’t stop her from trying.
“It is not about my power or the power of a future mayor,” she said.
“Much of the conversation that took place during this last legislative session is about sharing CPS loot. It is a question of power. It’s about repaying someone’s political patron. But it was not centered on our children. It is speaking. But it’s also scary.