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Debate over elected Chicago school board could come to Springfield

An influential Illinois state senator wants state government to get more involved in Chicago’s public school issues, including the idea of an elected Chicago school board instead of one appointed by the city’s mayor.

State Sen. William Delgado, D-Chicago is chairman of the Senate Education Committee. He cautions if the school board is elected, there would have to be regulations like caps on campaign contributions.

“If we don’t have caps on the funding of the financing, then the rich will all win and communities like mine in Humboldt Park would not win,” he said.

The idea of an elected school board has received more attention from the Chicago Teachers Union as Chicago Public Schools has moved to close a record number of schools.

Delgado also supports a delay in closing any schools this school year. He proposed waiting until the 2014-15 school year to close schools, saying the public school system’s plan to close schools is insensitive to parents who have to work.

“Start with 20,” he said. “Then go through June, go through 2014, and close these in increments.”

The full state senate has yet to take up the school closing moratorium proposal.

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