Chicago’s mayor Lori Lightfoot had replaced the entire Chicago Board of Education earlier this month. She had named Miguel del Valle as the President of the board. Valle had said that he didn’t want a rubber-stamp board. The handpicked board members had passed all of the public agenda items at their first meeting on Wednesday.
They may have passed all the public agenda items, but they first spent hours on debating a variety of issues. They also listened to the views of the citizens. They ultimately approved changes to policies including how schools are rated and which companies will be barred from doing business with Chicago Public Schools.
Lightfoot had signaled that she will eventually move towards an elected school board. In the meantime, she had chosen to reconstitute the board. She had selected Valle as the president who is a former state senator and city clerk. He had taken his first orders of business on Wednesday. He announced that a series of changes to policies including how schools are rated and which companies will be barred from doing business with Chicago Public Schools.
They announced that future meetings will be livestreamed to the public and also be translated into Spanish. In order to make the actions and policies transparent, they have also decided to take votes unrelated to legal or personnel issues will be taken before members enter into closed-door talks. In the board’s next meeting, they will decide whether to publicly post proposed policy changes before voting on the matter.
This will give the board the feedback of the public. These are a few changes that the board have made or will make. There was also a ceremony at the start of Wednesday’s meeting to sworn in the new members. Del Valle, Vice President Sendhil Revuluri, and members Dwayne Truss, Elizabeth Todd-Breland, Lucino Sotelo, Luisiana Meléndez and Amy Rome took oaths.