Sen. President Don Harmon

Full statement from Senate President Don Harmon, D-Oak Park, regarding Senate passage of SB 15:

“The beauty of the legislative process is that there are often numerous ways to achieve a shared goal. Today’s action by the Senate puts parents, families and taxpayers of Chicago on the threshold of finally getting a choice in who leads their schools – a right already afforded to every other community in Illinois.

“This plan represents what the Mayor of Chicago and advocates argue is the best way forward, with a phased-in transition to an elected, representative school board paired with strong ethical safeguards. We hope the House quickly sends this measure to the governor’s desk so we can begin this exciting new era of community-led education.”

Key provisions of SB 15 include:

  • Adopts Mayor Johnson’s hybrid election approach in which 10 CPS Board members will be elected in 2024 and 10 CPS Board members and the Board Chair will be appointed by the mayor.
  • Beginning in 2026, all 20 CPS Board members will be elected from subdistricts and the Board President will be elected citywide.
  • Potential candidates can begin circulating petitions on March 26 for the 2024 election, with petitions to be filed between June 17 and June 24.
  • The first Board election will take place November 5.
  • Ensures school board members will be held to strong ethical standards that mirror those for all other school boards across the state. That includes conflict of interest provisions in line with the state’s existing Public Officer Prohibited Activities Act.
  • Creates the Black Student Achievement Committee within the Board, following feedback from education advocates, parents and community members about the need to focus on the disparity in academic performance among Black students.
  • Allows the CPS Board to establish additional committees or advisory boards to seek guidance on addressing disparities and individualized needs.

A map detailing electoral district boundaries, as well as demographic data and shape files, is available online at The map consists of 20 districts, including seven majority Black districts, six majority Latino districts, five majority White districts and two coalition districts.