Should Chicago school board members be paid? Some advocates hope state lawmakers say yes.

Education advocates are renewing a push to change Illinois law to allow Chicago school board members to be paid—with the hope that would encourage teachers and parents from low-income households to represent Chicago Public Schools’ diverse student body.

State law currently does not allow school board members to be paid, though they can be reimbursed for expenses related to the job. But a bill filed in the state senate last fall would allow Chicago Board of Education members to be paid.

Chicago’s first school board elections take place this November, with a new half-elected, half-appointed 21-member board taking office January 2025. Candidates are already emerging now that they can collect signatures to get on the ballot.

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