Mayoral candidates have lots to say about Chicago Public Schools despite graduating elsewhere
All 14 Chicago mayoral candidates have strong opinions on how to improve the city’s public schools despite the fact that only one of them actually attended CPS and half didn’t attend public high schools at all, according to an analysis by Chicago City Wire.
Gery Chico is the only CPS graduate in the 2019 Chicago mayoral election field. He grew up in McKinley Park on the near Southwest Side and attended Thomas Kelly High School.
He is one of five mayoral candidates calling for a “hybrid” school board, which would allow the mayor to continue appointing the majority of the school board with a few members voted in by community members.
Poll-leading candidates Susan Mendoza and Toni Preckwinkle grew up in suburban Bolingbrook and St. Paul, Minnesota, respectively.
While Mendoza is all for the “hybrid” school board model, Preckwinkle has been adamant that a mayoral-appointed board is a bad idea. In outlining her education platform, she noted that Chicago school board members appointed by mayors have “presided over multiple scandal-plagued administrations.”
Among other candidates who attended public high schools, Paul Vallas (Carl Sandburg in Palos Heights), Amara Enyia (Crete-Monee in University Park), Willie Wilson ( Gilbert High School in Louisiana) and Lori Lightfoot (Massillon Washington High School in Ohio) said that shutting down schools shouldn’t be the first reaction to falling enrollment. Wilson even went so far as to vow that he would re-open 50 Chicago schools shuttered under outgoing Mayor Rahm Emanuel.
Seven mayoral candidates attended Catholic high schools, including Bill Daley (St. Ignatius), Jerry Joyce (Marist), John Kozlar and Neal Sales-Griffin (Mt. Carmel), Bob Fioretti (Mendel), La Shawn Ford (Weber) and Garry McCarthy (Cardinal Spellman in New York).
Mendel, formerly located in Roseland, closed in 1988; and Weber, formerly in Belmont Cragin on the city's Northwest Side, closed in 1999.
Chicago Mayoral Candidates' High School Alma Maters
|Lori Lightfoot||Massillon, Ohio||Massillon Washington High School||Public|
|Paul Vallas||Palos Heights||Carl Sandburg High School||Public|
|Susana Mendoza||Bolingbrook||Bolingbrook High School||Public|
|Amara Enyia||University Park||Crete-Monee High School||Public|
|Toni Preckwinkle||St. Paul, Minnesota||St. Paul Washington High School||Public|
|Jerry Joyce||Chicago (Beverly)||Marist High School||Catholic|
|William Daley||Chicago (Bridgeport)||St. Ignatius High School||Catholic|
|Bob Fioretti||Chicago (Roseland)||Mendel Catholic High School||Catholic|
|Gery Chico||Chicago (McKinley Park)||Kelly High School||Public|
|La Shawn Ford||Chicago (Near North)||Weber High School||Catholic|
|Willie Wilson||Gilbert, Louisiana||Gilbert High School||Public|
|Neal Sales-Griffin||Chicago (Hyde Park)||Mt. Carmel High School||Catholic|
|John Kozlar||Chicago (Bridgeport)||Mt. Carmel High School||Catholic|
|Garry McCarthy||New York City||Cardinal Spellman||Catholic|