CHICAGO — Chicago voters overwhelmingly voted in favor of an elected school board Tuesday — even after what some described as "political shenanigans" kept the question off the ballot in parts of the city.
In nearly every ward that had the opportunity to vote on the topic, nearly 90 percent of voters said they were in favor of an elected school board. Vote breakdowns are below.
Currently, the school board is appointed by the mayor.
“I’m tired of going to school board meetings where people who don’t have skin in the game are making decisions,” said Jitu Brown of the Kenwood Oakland Community Organization, at a rally for an elected school board last month.
Mayor Rahm Emanuel, who is heading to a runoff with Jesus "Chuy" Garcia, has dismissed the notion of an elected school board, saying, "I don't believe what we need right now is more politics in schools."
Garcia, however, believes an "elected school board is a constitutional right."
Ald. John Arena (45th) had pushed for a citywide referendum on an elected school board, but in October the council's Rules Committee approved three other questions to fill up the ballot: a proposal by 49th Ward Ald. Joe Moore on mandatory paid sick leave, another on public campaign financing backed by the grassroots group Common Cause and another on whether city employees should be forced to seek counseling if convicted of domestic abuse, sponsored by Ald. Deborah Graham (29th).
Ald. Bob Fioretti (2nd) charged that the move was illegal, but those referenda held their spots.
A collection of grassroots groups filed 50,000 signatures to place an advisory referendum on the ballot for an elected school board in 37 of the city's 50 wards. The Chicago Teachers Union joined in the effort.
Here is how 37 Chicago wards voted on the elected school board question:
Yes: 87.05 %
No: 12.95 %
Yes: 86.69 %
Yes: 91.20 %
Yes: 89.89 %
Yes: 89.09 %
Yes: 91.75 %
Yes: 88.30 %
Yes: 88.62 %
Yes: 92.24 %
No : 13.06%
Yes: 83.21 %
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