I’m a parent. Our perspective is needed most on an elected Chicago School Board

Parents know their children best. And they know best what “success” really means for our schools.

SHARE I’m a parent. Our perspective is needed most on an elected Chicago School Board
Members of the Grassroots Education Movement, made up of Chicago Public Schools parents and community leaders, demand an elected school board.

Members of the Grassroots Education Movement, made up of Chicago Public Schools parents and community leaders, protest outside City Hall to demand an elected school board.

Pat Nabong/Sun-Times

I have raised 14 children who have attended Chicago Public Schools, as a biological parent, a primary caregiver and a grandmother. I know that children learn in different ways, and I know that parents best know their own children’s strengths and weaknesses. The perspective of parents is most needed on the Chicago Public Schools Board of Education.

The Sun-Times recently endorsed a hybrid School Board for CPS, meaning the board would have some members appointed by the mayor and some elected by the public. The best way to ensure that any new board is responsive to the needs of CPS parents is to make sure that parents get a say in what the new board looks like — and serve as members. The majority of board members should be current CPS parents, some with experience serving on local school councils, and the racial and geographic diversity of the board should closely resemble the demographics of CPS students.

SEND LETTERS TO: letters@suntimes.com. Please include your neighborhood or hometown and a phone number for verification purposes. Letters should be 350 words or less.

Only with adequate parent representation will the new board be able to properly identify goals and determine what qualifies as success for our schools, and then do the important work of continuing academic growth, closing the achievement gap, and ensuring our students graduate and go on to college.

Mary Alexander, Austin

Equity for tollway fees

Last week, the Illinois Tollway took an important step toward making our transportation system more equitable. As part of its decision to eliminate cash toll collections, the agency announced it would expand its I-Pass Assist program to households with lower incomes.

Beginning in May, drivers with household incomes below 250% of the federal poverty line will have the deposit on transponders waived and will receive $20 in prepaid tolls. This also follows a Tollway decision last summer to substantially reduce fees associated with missed tolls.

Our transportation system is a literal route to opportunity, connecting residents to jobs, education and services. And yet significant transportation inequities exist for residents with low incomes, communities of color and people with disabilities.

ON TO 2050 — our comprehensive plan for northeastern Illinois — recommends that transportation user fees be implemented carefully to avoid undue burdens on residents with low incomes. The cost of driving is a significant strain on many people who lack other transit options. Residents with low incomes spend roughly a fifth of their income on transportation costs.

An expanded I-Pass Assist program will make transportation more affordable for those with low incomes. And when transportation easily connects residents to economic opportunities and amenities, our entire region prospers.

Erin Aleman, Chicago

The Latest
Some states have passed legislation to preserve these valuable resources, which protect wildlife and help stop flooding. Two environmental lawyers explain what the private sector can do to help.
Mays, who died at age 93 on June 18, saw decades of societal change, including the long-overdue decision by major league baseball to officially recognize Negro League players and stats.
Aidan Dunican and Wrigley View Rooftop, 1050 W. Waveland Ave., have been selling tickets and using Cubs trademarks this year without a license, a federal lawsuit alleges.
“This is a relationship business,” DePaul coach Doug Bruno. “You have to make sure you interact well with the student-athletes and she did those things well.”
Currently, students ride for 75 cents, and during the school year. Unrestricted free passes would help kids and CPS families, 70% of whom have very low incomes.