cpz hb4933SPRINGFIELD – To provide more transparency in the current hiring process for principals in the Chicago Public School system, State Senator Cristina H. Pacione-Zayas in collaboration with Chicago Principals and Administrators Association introduced a new initiative to grant Local School Councils (LSCs) access to the universe of qualified applicants for these vital positions—ensuring viable candidates are not overlooked, and underqualified applicants are not chosen over their peers.  The bill also increases protections and clarity for candidates throughout the process.

“Under the current policy, local school councils do not get the full view of eligible candidates for the role of principal—and with a more narrow view, they often miss out on candidates that may be better suited for one of the most important drivers in school success—the instructional leader,” said Senator Pacione-Zayas (D-Chicago). “I am passionate about making systemic change in the currently opaque hiring process to ensure the highest quality of education for our children moving forward.”

With the status quo in Chicago Public Schools, aspiring principals, already meeting rigorous standards to be licensed by the state, must go through a second eligibility determination process. If they pass this additional opaque vetting process, candidates interested in a particular school’s job posting submit their credentials to the entire Chicago Public School system, not the individual schools they are interested in, and are subsequently entered into a universal pool of qualified principal applicants. From there, when a Local School Councils posts a vacancy, CPS sorts and sends interested applicants to LSCs, who then decide on a candidate for the role and often include additional vetting at the school level. However, LSCs do not get to look over the entire candidate pool, and only have access to the group CPS advances, even if other candidates were also eligible. This has led to issues in many schools in the CPS system, including a principal being hired who did not know the language of instruction and unable to evaluate teachers in the language of instruction, when other potential candidates who may be fluent in the language yet not included in the hiring pool given to LSCs.

To address this oversight, this legislation increases transparency for applicants by making public the rubric and scoring threshold for passing each step in the process, allowing for due process when candidates do not advance to the next stage of evaluation, and would give Local School Councils access to the entire eligible pool of candidates. These protections give LSCs a much larger, more diverse pool of candidates to select from—some of whom may be more qualified to be leaders in schools than the narrower pool that CPS may have advanced. Further, it allows greater opportunity for equity by informing candidates of deficiencies and resources for improvement. Senator Pacione-Zayas is confident this change will make the hiring process work better for students, educators and aspiring principals in the CPS system.

“Principals are the primary driver of school achievement,” Pacione-Zayas said. “Students and faculty deserve leaders who are best matched for their school’s unique needs—and that can only be done of the hiring board can review all qualified candidates.”

House Bill 4933 passed unanimously out of the Senate Executive committee on November 30, 2022. It now goes to the Senate floor for further debate.

Category: Press Releases

English Health Fair Flyer CHICAGO – As the weather gets colder, Senator Cristina Pacione-Zayas is hosting a Fall Family Health Fair to help keep folks in her community from getting sick, and will be offering free flu shots, COVID shots and boosters, blood pressure checks, physicals, and more.

“When we move into cold and flu season, a lot of folks are more prone to illness, which can keep them out of work and school, result in expensive medical bills or just simply make them feel crummy,” said Pacione-Zayas (D-Chicago). “We are offering resources like flu and COVID shots to help prevent people in our community from getting sick and avoid these stressors.  I hope families will utilize this opportunity, and join me in prioritizing their health this fall.” 

The Fall Family Health Fair will be held from 9 a.m. to noon on Saturday, Nov. 5 at Kosciuszko Park, 2732 N. Avers Ave. in Chicago.

The Fall Family Health Fair is being co-sponsored by State Representative Will Guzzardi (D-Chicago) and the Kosciuszko Park Advisory Council. In addition to the free health services, the fair is offering a variety of fall-themed family activities. Attendees will be able to participate in free face-painting, take free family portraits, and go home with free children’s books. There will also be free hot chocolate for guests to enjoy and keep warm.

"This event will be a great opportunity to get flu shots, COVID boosters, and to have a great time," said Rep. Guzzardi. "We're excited to offer all these services and activities free of charge to our neighbors, and we encourage everyone to come by and celebrate the season with us."

For more information, please reach out to Senator Pacione-Zayas’ district office at (773) 278-2020.

Category: Press Releases

CPZ Aquino EarlyChildhoodEducationFair EN 111222CHICAGO – State Senator Cristina H. Pacione-Zayas and State Senator Omar Aquino are excited to host the first-ever Early Childhood Education Resource Fair on Nov. 12th highlighting available resources in their communities to improve knowledge and enrollment in early childhood education programs.  

“From my role as an education advocate to being a parent, I know firsthand how important resources are to supporting young people in our community to learn more about themselves and the world around them, and to develop necessary skills for the rest of their lives,” said Senator Pacione-Zayas (D-Chicago). “Early experiences matter, and this resource fair will help direct members of the community to the resources that are available to them – setting their kids up for academic and personal success.”

The Early Childhood Resource Fair will be held on Nov. 12th from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the McCormick YMCA, 1834 N Lawndale Ave., in Chicago.

The Early Childhood Resource Fair aims to educate families about high quality care and education resources available in their neighborhoods that will be accessible throughout the school year. Attendees will be able to visit stations providing information about developmental screenings, health resources, and early childhood resources. During the fair, there will be community giveaway for families as they complete the event passport. There will also be informational bags including age-appropriate tools for education up for grabs. The senators are looking forward to making these resources easily accessible for residents in the districts they represent.

“The development of a child’s emotional, cognitive and physical needs is the foundation for their lifelong wellbeing,” said Senator Aquino (D-Chicago). “I’m delighted to join forces with Senator Pacione-Zayas to offer a one-stop-shop opportunity where parents can get the information and resources to ensure their kids are prepared for learning. I encourage all residents of our districts to attend and take advantage of this opportunity.”

To register, click here: https://bit.ly/20-EARLY.

Category: Press Releases

CHICAGO –To explain how the SAFE-T Act works to make the criminal legal system more equitable, State Senator Cristina H. Pacione-Zayas (D-Chicago) and State Senator Omar Aquino (D—Chicago) are holding a virtual town hall on Monday, Oct. 3.

“Before this law, the criminal legal system disproportionately favored folks with more money—which is not ’justice’ at all,” Pacione-Zayas said. “The SAFE-T Act will make sure offenders of serious crimes are not able to walk free just because they can afford bail, keeping our communities safer and creating more accountability for serious crimes.”

The SAFE-T Act Town Hall will be held Monday, October 3 from 6-7:30 p.m. over Zoom. To pre-register for the virtual town hall, click here.

Under current law, people who commit serious crimes, such as murder, rape, sex offenses or gun crimes, can use cash to pay for their release, while people charged with minor offenses who cannot afford cash bail have to sit in jail awaiting trial. This unfairly allows people with more financial resources to evade the consequences of their actions, while keeping people with less financial resources from going to work and caring for their families by holding them in jail.

To address these issues, the SAFE-T Act gives the judge the power to determine if a person charged with a crime will be held or released. When the Act goes into effect, judges will be able to hold someone they deem as “too dangerous” regardless of their ability to pay for bail. This change will make sure those accused of serious crimes are kept out of the community, no matter how much money they have, and people who are charged with minor offenses can be released if they do not pose a risk to others.

Additionally, this law takes the first steps to rectify the disproportionate negative impact of the current criminal legal system on people with low income. Under a cash bail system, people living in poverty who are charged with nonviolent crimes are held in jail before being convicted of the crime they were charged with. This means that people who are arrested and found innocent after a trial have to miss work, school, or other obligations that can negatively impact their financial status. Many may end up losing their jobs or living situations because of the money lost in this time period. Dissolving the cash bail system will give people who are accused of committing a nonviolent crime the opportunity to continue to earn money and support their family between the time of their arrest and their trial date, preventing folks from slipping further into poverty if they were unable to afford bail.    

"People deemed to be a danger to others or themselves will remain in jail if a judge decides so," Senator Aquino said. "The SAFE-T Act is not a tool for impunity, but it's a venue to stop the historical unfairness of keeping poor people in jail for not being able to "buy out" their freedom as wealthy people do in the current system. Senator Pacione-Zayas and I will happily explain this and any other concerns to our constituents in our virtual town hall meeting." 

Category: Press Releases

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Springfield Office:

Stratton Office Building
Section F, Room H
Springfield, IL 62706


District Office:
3140 W. Montrose
Chicago, IL 60618
(773) 278-2020