What to do when your district's CEO goes to prison

On Friday, former Chicago Public Schools CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett was sentenced to 4.5 years in prison for defrauding students and taxpayers with a no-bid contract with SUPES, her former employer---a contract approved unanimously by the unelected Chicago Board of Education. BBB's connection to SUPES was considered "a plus, not a negative" by the Board, according to Andrea Zopp, board member at the time.

IL Senate President John Cullerton is still questioning whether an elected school board would have sufficient "oversight." But Chicago voters know better: the malfeasance and mismanagement of our district starts at the top. We need an elected representative school board that we can hold directly accountable at the voting booth. 

An elected school board bill HB1774 passed committee 18-1 in March in the IL House, but a lot of pressure is needed to ensure it keeps moving. We simply cannot let Springfield inaction kill this bill again.

What can you do? Channel your outrage into action:

  1. Canvass with us - We're talking to neighbors about why we need an elected board in Senate President Cullerton's district this Saturday 10am-3pm. More info and RSVP here
  2. Call your state representative and state senator - Demand that they get the elected school board bill passed by the end of May. Find your rep and senator's contact info here.
  3. Visit Springfield with us - RYH Action is planning an in-person advocacy day on Tuesday May 16. Let us know if you can commit to making the trip to talk to legislators face-to-face.

Nine out of ten Chicagoans want an elected board. Help us make that happen.


[Image WBEZ, used under Creative Commons license]

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