(Chicago, IL) — June 7, 2011. Governor Pat Quinn today named Gery Chico, the former rival of Rahm Emanuel for the Chicago mayor’s office, as the chairman of the Illinois State Board of Education.
“Gery Chico’s decades of experience in education and administration will help keep our schools competitive and prepare our students to succeed in the global economy,” said Quinn.
Chico, who came in a distant second to Emanuel in this year’s mayoral contest, previously served as president of the board of trustees for the Chicago Public Schools from 1995 to 2001 and briefly chaired the City Colleges of Chicago board in 2010.
Chico, a former chief of staff to former Mayor Richard Daley, is a lawyer-lobbyist and is active in numerous community organizations including the Chicago Urban League, After School Matters and the Illinois Education Foundation.
As President of the Chicago Public Schools, Chico, whose Wikipedia page has already been updated to reflect the Quinn appointment, led an effort that improved student performance and teacher confidence for six consecutive years, turned a projected deficit of $1.3 billion into a $345 million surplus, and invested money to build 65 new school facilities and renovate another 375 existing school structures.
CPS currently faces a budget deficit of approximately $720 million.
The Illinois State Board of Education is composed of nine members appointed by the Governor to serve four-year terms.