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Union wants elected school board

Updated: December 29, 2010 8:26PM

The Chicago Teachers Union was among seven organizations Wednesday to demand that Chicago move to a 13-member elected school board that would strip the next mayor of the power to appoint board members.

Chicago Teachers Union President Karen Lewis and others contended an array of reforms under a board appointed by Mayor Daley has stalled and in some cases has hurt schools and kids.

The group called for a change in state law that would create an elected school board comprised of three parents or community members from the South Side and two each from the North and West sides. Two teachers, one administrator, one “academic,’’ one school “paraprofessional’’ — such as a school clerk — and one “business’’ person also would be elected to sit on the board.

In response, mayoral candidate Gery Chico, who served as president of the first Daley-controlled school board, said the idea would produce “13 elected politicians’’ with “special interests.’’ Chico said he was a “staunch supporter’’ of the current system of appointed school board members, but “with the right people.’’ He said he was “open to the idea’’ of appointing a teacher to the board.

Candidate Rahm Emmanuel rejects the idea of an elected school board “while we are working to turn the system around’’ but believes “teachers must be represented’’ on any appointed board, said Ben Labolt, a spokesman for the mayoral candidate.

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