Appointed vs. Elected School Board
Should Chicago move from an appointed school board to an elected one? Activists were able to get an advisory referendum on the Feb. 24, 2015 ballot in 38 wards asking voters that question. But will such a move inject politics into school decisions? Mayor Rahm Emanuel's challengers in the February election believe Chicago should have an elected school board. What are the pros and cons of an elected school board? Joining us are Catalyst Chicago Publisher & Founder Linda Lenz, Chicago School Board Vice President Jesse Ruiz, and Chicago Teachers Union Interim President Jesse Sharkey.
Hover over each image to read more about Chicago's appointed school board members.
According to the Chicago Teachers Union, 96 percent of school boards in the United States are elected. In some instances, such as with Ohio, a state has only one appointed school board within its borders. Still, a Center for American Progress report shows that appointed school boards can be found in cities of all sizes across the country, from New Haven, Conn. to Chicago. In the map below, the blue icons represent school boards appointed entirely by a mayor, the yellow icons represent school boards appointed partially by a mayor and partially elected, and the red icons represent school boards appointed jointly by a mayor and a governor.
- Read an August 2014 Chicago Tonight article on elected school boards
- Read a 2011 UIC report, "Should Chicago Have an Elected Representative School Board?"