Paul Vallas

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Paul Vallas
Paul Vallas Chicago Pride Parade 2018 (cropped).jpg
Vallas at the 2018 Chicago Pride Parade
Chief Executive Officer of Chicago Public Schools
In office
July 10, 1995[1] – June 26, 2001
Appointed by Richard M. Daley
Preceded by Office Created
Succeeded by Arne Duncan
Personal details
Born (1953-06-10) June 10, 1953 (age 65)
Chicago, Illinois, U.S.
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Sharon Vallas
Children 3
Residence Chicago, Illinois
Alma mater Western Illinois University (B.A., M.A.)
Profession School superintendent

Paul Gust Vallas (born June 10, 1953) is an American former superintendent of the Bridgeport Public Schools, a former Superintendent of the Recovery School District of Louisiana, and a former CEO of Chicago Public Schools and the School District of Philadelphia. He ran for Lieutenant Governor of Illinois in 2014 with incumbent Governor Pat Quinn, though the Democratic ticket was defeated by the Republican ticket which included Bruce Rauner and Evelyn Sanguinetti.

Life and career[edit]

During his tenure as CEO of the Chicago Public Schools from 1995 to 2001, he led an effort to reform the school system, and his work was cited by President Bill Clinton for raising test scores, balancing the budget, and instituting several new programs including mandatory summer school, after school programs, and expanding alternative, charter, and magnet schools.

The position of CEO of the CPS was created by Mayor Richard M. Daley after he successfully convinced the Illinois State Legislature to place CPS under mayoral control. Vallas had previously directed the budget arm of the Illinois State Legislature and served as budget director for Daley.

Following his tenure at CPS, Vallas ran for Governor of Illinois as a Democrat. Vallas placed second in the Democratic primary, losing narrowly to now-former-Governor Rod Blagojevich while running ahead of former state Attorney General Roland Burris.[2]

Following the election, Vallas was appointed CEO of School District of Philadelphia. In this capacity, he presided over the nation's largest experiment in privatized management of schools, with the management of over 40 schools turned over to outside for-profits, nonprofits, and universities beginning in Fall 2002.

In 2005, Vallas considered challenging Blagojevich again for Illinois governor in the Democratic Primary but decided against it. He then signed a two-year contract (2007–2008) as superintendent of the Recovery School District of Louisiana. Vallas ultimately remained head of the Recovery School District through 2011.

On April 28, 2008 he appeared before the City Club of Chicago and on Chicago news shows discussing a possible run for governor in 2010.[3][4][5] In February 2009, Vallas gave an interview to Carol Marin in the Chicago Sun-Times and stated that he planned to return to Cook County, Illinois in 2009 and run as a Republican for Cook County Board president in 2010.[6]

On June 11, 2009, Vallas announced that he would not be a candidate for President of the Cook County Board of Commissioners in 2010. Vallas stated that he could not "begin a political campaign while trying to finish what he started—rebuild the school system there in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina."[7]

After Haiti's 2010 earthquake, President René Préval gave the Inter-American Development Bank the mandate to work with the Education Ministry and the National Commission preparing a major reform of the Education System in a 5-year plan to reconstruct; Mr. Vallas has been working with the bank in this effort.

In 2013, Vallas became Superintendent of the Bridgeport Public Schools. On June 28, 2013, a state superior court judge ruled that Vallas did not complete a state-mandated school leadership program and was therefore not qualified to be superintendent in Connecticut. On July 17, 2013 the State Supreme Court agreed to hear an appeal of the ruling and to decide if he should remain in office. This followed several months of controversy over Vallas' credentials to serve as superintendent in the state of Connecticut.[8] In November 2013, Illinois Governor Pat Quinn tapped Vallas to be his running mate in the 2014 election.[9]

In March 2018, Vallas formally filed to become a candidate in the 2019 Chicago mayoral election.[10]


  1. ^ Schools Aren't Out Of Budget Woods Yet Chicago Tribune (August 20, 1995)
  2. ^ "IL Governor - D Primary, March 19, 2002". December 21, 2004. Retrieved February 9, 2009. 
  3. ^ Greg Hinz. "Vallas interested in running for Illinois guv". April 28, 2008. Crain's Chicago Business. 
  4. ^ David Mendell. "Vallas "open" to run for governor in 2010". April 28, 2008. Chicago Tribune. 
  5. ^ Rosalind Rossi. "Former CPS CEO considering run for governor". April 28, 2008. Chicago Sun-Times. Archived from the original on May 2, 2008. 
  6. ^ Marin, Carol (2009-02-04). "Vallas targets County Board run". Chicago Sun-Times. Archived from the original on 2009-02-07. Retrieved 2009-02-08. 
  7. ^ John Kass. "Kass: Vallas staying put in New Orleans". June 11, 2009. Chicago Tribune. 
  8. ^ Danielle Dreilinger. "Former Recovery School District superintendent Paul Vallas under attack in Connecticut". The New Orleans "Times-Picayune". 
  9. ^ Moser, Whet (8 November 2013). "Paul Vallas Is With Quinn. But Why Do We Even Have a Lieutenant Governor?". Chicago magazine. Retrieved 8 November 2013. 
  10. ^ Former CPS CEO Paul Vallas Officially Files to Run for Mayor

External links[edit]