SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois Senate approved a measure to replace the mayor-appointed board of Chicago Public Schools (CPS) with an elected one. State Sen. Omar Aquino, a Democrat from Chicago, was one of the lawmakers who voted in favor of the legislation.

“Finally, CPS will join every other school district in Illinois in electing a school board,” Aquino said. “Chicago taxpayers deserve more accountability from CPS leadership, which is more accountable to the mayor than the voters under an appointed school board. Over half of our property tax revenue goes to fund CPS. If you pay taxes to support the schools and you trust them to educate your children, you should absolutely have a voice in deciding who runs them.”

CPS is currently the only school district in the state with an appointed school board. The legislation would create a body of 15 elected school board members elected from across Chicago to replace the city’s current board of seven members appointed by the mayor. The first board members would be chosen by voters in the 2023 Chicago municipal election.

Aquino hopes that elected school board members will better reflect the demographics of Chicago’s public schools.

“Latinos are the largest demographic in CPS at about 45 percent of the student body, but only two board members are Latino. By giving every neighborhood a voice in the process, we are taking an important step toward equitable representation,” Aquino said.

The legislation, House Bill 1774, has been approved by the Senate. It now heads back to the House for a concurrence vote.