Chicago elected school board hopefuls file candidacy petitions for November election

Monday, June 17, 2024
Chicago elected school board hopefuls file candidacy
After years of pushing for an elected Chicago school board, would-be candidates lined up Monday to file their petitions for a spot on the November 5 ballot.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- After years of pushing for an elected Chicago school board, it's finally happening. Candidates lined up Monday to file their petitions, hoping to win a lottery for the top November 5 ballot spot. Many were there before 9 a.m.

Grammy Award-winning hip hop artist Che "Rhymefest" Smith is one of the nearly 50 candidates running for 10 unpaid elected positions.

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"I just turned in 3,000 petitions, which is 3,000 conversations I have had with people about modern education, about teacher recruitment and about the curriculum they need," he said.

Three thousand petition is the maximum; 1,000 is the minimum. Karin Norington-Reaves is running against Rhymefest in District 10, a South Side area that is already shaping up to be a competitive and expensive race.

"I do think the way this is all playing out does create disadvantages for those who don't come with that type of backing and support already," she said.

Norington-Reaves is a former congressional candidate, LSC member and Chicago Public Schools parent of a special needs student.

Jessica Biggs is a CPS parent, and a former teacher and principal. She hopes her grassroots District 6 candidacy will resonate with voters.

"As I was out canvassing and talking to voters in the district folks want independent people in the office and so our work is how do we get our message out," she said.

The first elected school board will be hybrid; 10 elected, and 10 appointed by the mayor, plus a board president. The Chicago Board of Elections hopes the historic school board race will drive voters to the polls.

"I think we're hopeful that these candidates will improve that turnout for November two these are important issues in our community. This is a brand new office, something that a lot of voters are already involved in," said Max Bever, CBoE spokesperson.

School board candidates have until Monday, June 24 to file petitions. The Chicago Board of Elections will hold objection hearings in July. At the end of August, the board will certify the official list of candidates and the order they will appear on the ballot.