A new board of the American Federation of Teachers is being installed in a Chicago suburb.
The move comes amid a backlash against charter schools, which critics say have been slow to deliver on the promise of accountability, and as President Donald Trump’s Education Department tries to expand charter schools.
The new board, which includes Chicago-area leaders, was established by the board to serve as a vehicle for the union to “move forward,” according to a statement on the union’s website.
The new board is expected to have a seat at the table for “major decisions in the coming years,” according the statement.
The AFT has long been critical of charter schools and charter-school advocates have vowed to continue fighting until all charter schools are shut down.
The union also has filed a lawsuit against the Trump administration seeking to expand the scope of charter school restrictions in states with the most charter schools in order to help teachers find work.
The union’s president, Randi Weingarten, was the first to be installed as the new president of the AFT board.
She is also an adviser to the new board.
Weingamp’s appointment comes as the Aft said in an email Monday that it would be “premature” to rule on the future of charter and vouchers schools, arguing that the state’s education law already makes them legal.
The state of Illinois has long allowed charter schools to operate under the umbrella of public schools.
The state’s law requires charters to receive approval from both the state and local governments before they can open schools.
It also requires charter schools to meet certain academic standards, such as a minimum grade-point average.
Weingamp is the first woman to lead the union since the late-1980s, when she served as vice president for education at the AFL-CIO, which was formed in part to oppose the ERA.
She joined the AFL-CIT in 2002, serving as executive director until 2015.
She was a board member of the AFLCIO from 2010 to 2014.