State Senator Iris Y. Martinez has introduced a measure this year intending to protect Chicago Public School (CPS) students and teachers from mid-year school closure disruptions that would affect learning.  

Senate Bill 3239 would put a one-year school closure moratorium on all CPS closures to allow the public the opportunity to be heard by CPS officials.   The one-year moratorium would also give CPS more time to create and implement required transitional plans identifying academic support, security, and transportation issues before students are re-assigned.

“Last year legislators came together with educators, parents, administrative officials, union officials and education advocates to evaluate how education facility decisions are implemented, and reform that process so that the focus would be on the benefit of the children attending these schools,” Martinez said. “CPS is currently not following the intent of the legislation signed into law last year born from the Chicago Educational Facilities Task Force. Communities want to have a voice in school facility decisions and they have the right to be heard.”

In 2011, the Chicago Educational Facilities Task Force was formed to review CPS’s guidelines to determine failing schools and subsequent plans to close, consolidate, turn-around, or phase-out facilities. The Task Force found that CPS was not clearly following the intent of the law which requires more public input and transitional planning in facility-related decisions.

“We’re not against closing underperforming schools, but there needs to be a process that involves community input and teacher input,” Martinez continued.

“Senator Martinez’ sponsorship and advocacy for a moratorium on school closings in Chicago will give Chicago students and families an opportunity for meaningful engagement with Chicago Public Schools,” said Stacy Davis Gates, Chicago Teachers Union Political Director.   “Currently, there is a severe imbalance in the manner in which policy is created and applied in Chicago Public Schools. It is our hope that the moratorium bill will ensure that parents, students, and teachers receive fair and respectable treatment by Chicago Public Schools. "

To read more on this issue and to see Senator Martinez’ video response, please click here

Category: News Releases

The Tribune’s Editorial, “Don’t Protect Failing Schools,” telling lawmakers not to “meddle” in the future of our public schools is astonishingly  uninformed about the General Assembly’s Chicago Educational Facilities Task Force  and the reform law that Chicago Public Schools has yet to live up to. To be clear, no Chicago legislator serving in the General Assembly – especially not  the legislators and other appointees to the Chicago Educational Facilities Task Force—are defending the collective failure of so many of Chicago’s  schools. Ironically, it was the public outcry to improve all of our public schools that led to the creation of the Task Force. The reforms which are now the law grew out of a year-long process of deliberations at dozens of meetings, input from focus groups and hearings, analysis of CPS’ own data, and a study of national best practices. The Task Force and the public put thousands of hours of work into identifying constructive reform proposals, precisely to ensure that all schools improve.

To characterize “lawmakers in Springfield”  as “meddlers” in what “rightly” should be local decisions exposes the Tribune’s fundamental lack of understanding of the General Assembly’s state constitutional obligations to ensure high quality educational opportunities for all our State’s children.  It is also a factually inaccurate characterization of the people who are involved.

Read more ...

Category: News Releases

Dear Friends and Neighbors,


Today is a historic day in which we remember one of our nation’s most prized civil right activists Dr. Martian Luther King Jr. Dr. King paved the road for circumventing racial inequalities that existed in our culture. The message of non-violence that Dr. King preached was exemplified by marches and peaceful sit-ins that Dr. King and his organization of freedom fighter facilitated. The method Dr. King practice to ensure the goal of equality for all races embodied the goal of democracy. Dr. King’s use of community outreach and diplomacy are still used today to fight social and economic inequality. As a community, we must continue working together to dissolve barriers dividing our communities.



As the 2012 legislative session approaches, I look forward to applying Dr. King’s balanced approach to social and economic justice. I look forward to this year’s legislative session as we gear up to take on critical issues that will affect the state.

Our state is still struggling through uphill journey towards economic recovery, but with bipartisan efforts and overcoming our political differences we will achieve economic prosperity. Dr. King was a living example of how Illinois needs to attack economic equality.

I look forward to representing you during the upcoming legislative session. I invite you to visit my legislative website at to remain current on my legislative initiatives and how they will affect residents of the 20th Legislative District.


State Senator Iris Y. Martinez

Category: Blog Post


Martinez Legislation Provides New Patient Protections

Springfield, IL – Recently, State Senator Iris Y. Martinez (D-Chicago) passed legislation that further her efforts to protect patients from medical malpractice. Public Act 97-662 makes a host of changes that will ensure that patients receive quality care while under doctor supervision.

“Quality of care is one of the most important factors on the road to recovery,” Senator Martinez said. “We must continue working with medical practitioners to make certain patients are given the best care possible and patients aren’t cheated out of quality care.”

Read more ...

Category: News Releases

Office Information

Springfield Office:
413 Capitol Building
Springfield, IL 62706
(217) 782-8191
District Office:
2921 N. Milwaukee Ave.
Chicago, IL 60618
(773) 278-2020