A 21-member elected school board? Be careful what you wish for

Elections costs money. Those who have the most money — not those who are best qualified — would most likely sit on the board.

SHARE A 21-member elected school board? Be careful what you wish for

Sun-Times Media

Mayor Lori Lightfoot raises many valid reservations with respect to legislation pending in the Illinois General Assembly to create a fully elected governing board for Chicago’s public schools. But my own major qualm is the money. 

Elections costs money. Those who have the greater financial resources likely would become members of the board. And we do not always get the best people that way. So much more is necessary to be a good school board member, such as financial knowledge, a familiarity with school politics and a background in social service.

I would hope that being in the in-crowd is not a positive. And a 21-member board sounds unwieldy.  

Be careful in what you wish for. 

Janice Gintzler, Crestwood

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Honor the man who saved the lakefront

Jean Baptiste Point DuSable was the first non-indigenous settler to what is today Chicago and he should be remembered more prominently. But DuSable also left for greener pastures. If Lake Shore Drive is ever renamed, it should be for the man who successfully led the fight to preserve Chicago’s lakefront, Montgomery Ward.

John Powers, Rolling Meadows

Better ways to honor DuSable

Lake Shore Drive is a name that emphasizes how unique our city is to have an entire lakefront free and open to all citizens and visitors. No other city in the world has such a comparably beautiful lakefront.

With that in mind, I want say that it’s commendable that Ald. David Moore seeks to educate people about Jean Baptiste Point DuSable, but how is this accomplished by renaming Lake Shore Drive? There are ways to educate people about DuSable that would have more impact.

  • DuSable Scholarships could be funded through partnerships among colleges, corporations, philanthropists and the city. Scholarship winners could be honored each year at a special city event. 
  • DuSable Internships could be created by the city in partnership with businesses and civic organizations.
  • A DuSable International Study Abroad Program could lead to DuSable’s name, and his importance to Chicago, being known in other countries.
  • A DuSable Walk/Run Event could raise funds for these scholarships, internships and study abroad programs.

Susan Winchip, Lincoln Park

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