Here are Chicago's new school board districts

In 2024, Chicago will elect 10 new elected school members. Explore the new districts in our interactive map.

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This November, Chicago voters will elect school board members for the first time to govern Chicago Public Schools, the nation’s fourth largest school district.

The change will end 30 years of mayoral control.

Activists and parents started pushing for the ability to elect Chicago school board members roughly a decade ago, after years of education reform that changed how schools were funded, how teachers were evaluated, how many schools were opened and closed, and who operated them.

In 2021, state lawmakers passed legislation to create a half-elected, half-appointed 21-member elected school board in Chicago by 2025 and a fully-elected board by 2027.

Here’s how it will happen.

Chicago has been divided into 10 districts with roughly 275,000 residents in each. On Nov. 5, 2024, voters in each district will elect someone who lives within those boundaries to represent them. The mayor will also appoint someone from each district.

Each district is also divided into two, generally with North and South halves. For example, District 5 is divided into 5a and 5b roughly at Chicago Avenue. This will matter after Nov. 5, 2024.

After the election, if the winning candidate lives in 5a, Chicago’s mayor must appoint someone who lives in 5b by Dec. 15, 2024. The mayor will also appoint a school board president who can live anywhere in Chicago.

In 2026, all 21 members will be up for election. Chicago will be divided into 20 districts with roughly 137,000 residents in each. All voters citywide can cast a ballot for the school board president.

Chicago is a city of 77 neighborhoods each with their own unique identity. Drawing electoral districts to ensure fair representation can be challenging.

Education advocates pushed state lawmakers to consider the public school student population to ensure CPS students would have a voice. But lawmakers had to comply with federal and state voting laws, drawing boundaries to represent Chicago’s overall population, which is roughly one-third white, one-third Black, and one-third Latino. Chicago Public Schools’ student population is 47% Latino, 35% Black, 11% white, and 4.5% Asian American.

Majority demographic:

  • Black
  • Hispanic
  • White

In 2024, there will be two majority white districts, three majority Latino districts, and three majority Black districts.

Majority demographic:

  • Black
  • Hispanic
  • White

In 2026, there will be five majority white districts, six majority Latino districts, and seven majority Black districts.

Majority demographic:

  • Black
  • Hispanic
  • White

Because Chicago is a segregated city where fewer white and Asian American children attend public schools, the racial majority of some school board districts does not match the racial majority of the students attending CPS schools in that district.

For example, in District 4 the overall population is majority white, but the student population of CPS schools located here is more diverse – with no single race making up a majority.

There is also an imbalance of schools in each district. In District 4 on the north lakefront, there are 34 schools serving more than 23,000 students.

But in District 5 on the west side, there are 101 schools serving nearly 37,000 students.

The types of schools and academic performance across each new school board district varies. Although Chicago Public Schools is moving away from measuring school quality using ratings, the state labels all schools with one of five designations.

“Exemplary” schools (shown in green) are the top 10% of all schools in the state based on a variety of performance metrics, including attendance, standardized test scores, and graduation rates. “Intensive Support” schools (in red) are considered the lowest 5%.

Some districts - like 4 - have more schools designated as “Exemplary” by the state.

While others - like District 5 - have few of the state’s top-rated schools.

Explore for yourself

Tap a school or district for more information about it.

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