It's Election Eve. Here's what you need to know before you vote.

Tomorrow, Tuesday April 4th, is Election Day all across Illinois, including in Chicago. 

These local elections are crucial ones for our public schools in Chicago and in dozens of districts around the state: Will we continue to have strong public schools committed to serving all our children? 

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School board elections are April 4th: Research before you vote!

In all districts aside from Chicago, local school board elections will be held on April 4, 2023. School board races are critical for how education is shaped at the most local level in Illinois because through their policy and spending decisions, local boards can make a huge impact. Unfortunately, school board races in many districts are now proxy wars for bigger forces, and voters must do their research before heading to their polls. 

We need school board members who will tackle the real problems schools face—lack of funding, mental health supports, services for students with disabilities, the teacher shortage—and are looking for solutions that can benefit all the students in a district.

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DeVos backing Vallas in Chicago mayor's race & other voucher-related news

On Wednesday night, IL-FPS broke the news that Betsy DeVos, Secretary of Education under former (and now indicted) President Trump, was spending thousands in the mayoral race in support of Paul Vallas. 

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MEDIA RELEASE: Paul Vallas Lies about Support, Connections with Trump Secretary of Ed Betsy DeVos

CHICAGO — Mayoral candidate Paul Vallas is falsely denying his connections to former President Trump’s former Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos and an Illinois Super PAC that DeVos funds.

[full press release after the jump]

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MEDIA RELEASE: Betsy DeVos’ Super PAC Spending Thousands To Elect Paul Vallas Mayor Of Chicago

CHICAGO — Last week ex-President Trump’s former Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos made a $59,000 independent expenditure in support of mayoral candidate Paul Vallas’ campaign from a Super PAC she funds, the Illinois Federation for Children PAC.

The Illinois Federation for Children PAC was established in March 2022 and has received $465,000 in total from DeVos’ American Federation for Children Action Fund, a national 527 PAC. The Illinois Federation PAC’s chair, Nathan Hoffman, was a registered contract lobbyist in Springfield for the American Federation for Children until January this year.

[full press release after the jump]

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COMUNICADO DE PRENSA: El Super PAC de Betsy DeVos gasta miles para elegir a Paul Vallas alcalde de Chicago

CHICAGO — La semana pasada, la ex secretaria de Educación del ex presidente Trump, Betsy DeVos, realizó un gasto independiente de $59.000 dólares en apoyo de la campaña del candidato a la alcaldía Paul Vallas de un Súper PAC que financia, la Federación de Illinois para Niños PAC.

El PAC de la Federación de Illinois para Niños se estableció en marzo de 2022 y ha recibido $465.000 en total del Fondo de Acción de la Federación Americana para Niños de DeVos, un PAC nacional 527 financiada por Devos y su esposo. El presidente del PAC de la Federación de Illinois, Nathan Hoffman, fue un lobbista contratado registrado en Springfield para la Federación Americana de Niños hasta enero de este año.

[comunicado de prensa completo después del salto]

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Action Alert: Witness slips need to OPPOSE creation of new voucher scheme in IL - HB1573

Update: This bill was not heard on March 28th, and no vote was taken. It has a deadline extension through the end of spring session. We'll be keeping an eye on it.

Illinois Families for Public Schools is in Springfield today talking to legislators about our legislative agenda, including urging them to ensure that the existing Invest in Kids voucher program endsUnfortunately, a bill to create an even larger, less regulated voucher scheme is in hearing this afternoon, HB 1573, the Education Savings Account Act. 

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What do state test scores measure?

In the decades since the passage of the federal No Child Left Behind Act, much of the rhetoric around K-12 school performance and student academic achievement is centered around the percentage of students labeled as meeting or exceeding standards on state standardized tests. This percentage is often misinterpreted as the percentage of children scoring at or above grade level.

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Dark money in school board races; more (disturbing) examples of voucher discrimination; and more

School board races are being flooded with dark money

Tuesday April 4th is voting day for local elections—including school boards—throughout Illinois. That’s when Chicago holds its municipal run-offs for mayor and many city council seats. And, outside of Chicago, in addition to school boards, library boards and village boards (or city council) elections take place on April 4th as well. 

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PRESS RELEASE: Pro-Public Schools Coalition Calls For Illinois’ School Voucher Program To End

More than 50 local, state and national organizations are calling for the Illinois General Assembly to ensure Illinois’ Invest in Kids voucher program ends as intended after the coming school year. Full press release below.

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