The biggest news from yesterday’s education hearing was not what the committee did, but what it didn’t: Exercising the chair’s prerogative, Education Chair Will Burns(4) chose not to advance two resolutions from committee expressing a sense of the Council to the Board of Education and the Chicago City Colleges.
Attendance (committee members bolded): Chair Will Burns (4), Vice Chair Michele Smith (43), Pat Dowell (3), Roderick Sawyer (6), Anthony Beale (9), Sue Sadlowski Garza (10), Matt O’Shea (19), Jason Ervin (28), Scott Waguespack (32), Carlos Ramirez-Rosa (35), Nicholas Sposato (38), Harry Osterman (48), Joe Moore (49)
The first resolution, co-sponsored by 42 aldermen, calls upon the Board of Educationand the Illinois State Board of Education to halt creation of new charter schools in Chicago for the 2015-2016 school year. Because the Chicago City Council has no regulatory or budget oversight over the Board of Education, the resolution would be non-binding and would not require any action or response from the board.
Asked by DNA Info for comment, Chair Burns would only say, “he has been a ‘consistent’ supporter of ‘school choice.’”
The second resolution to be bottled up in committee was an effort by an organization of adjunct professors, the City Colleges Contingent Labor Organizing Committee, for Council to express support for adjunct professors in Chicago City Colleges to receive pay equitable with full-time professors. After hearing about a half hour of testimony, Burns indicated, “We’re going to hold this resolution here but I think your testimony was very powerful.” No vote.
When asked by Aldertrack if he had any plans to call it for a vote, Burns said, “Not at this point, they’re in the middle of their contract negotiations, I think it’s important for them to get their story out. That’s the first step.”
Testimony on another resolution, similar to the City Colleges adjuncts, but in support of private school adjunct professors, was also heard yesterday and voted out of committee. That effort, led by SEIU Local 73, is part of an effort to organize adjunct professors at a number of Chicago’s private colleges and universities.