Who is She: Dr. Mahalia A. Hines was a principal in the Chicago Public School system for 17 years. Before that she worked as a teacher in CPS for 14 years. Though her experience as an educator is remarkable, she is known to most as the mother of rapper Common. While she worked as a marketing manager for Gillette and Liquid Paper between 1976 and 1984, she owned three day care centers throughout Chicago. In 1996 she became her son’s business manager, managing the operations of his company Senseless Music, Inc. She is president of Hip Hop Schoolhouse, another company founded by her son, which publishes children’s books and other education materials. She serves on the Board of Directors of the Common Ground Foundation. The foundation, started by Common, is dedicated to empowering youth in urban neighborhoods.
City Salary: Board of Education members do not recieve compensation for their service.
Goals: Hines’ experience in the Chicago Public Schools system is important because her career has been dedicated to teaching children in Chicago. She understands the challenges of the school system because she has worked not as an upper level administrator in Chicago Public Schools, but as a teacher and a principal. She will likely bring the mission of the Common Ground Foundation to the board and will look out for the interests of teachers and principals.
Challenges: Hines will likely need to compromise on issues regarding teacher treatment, particularly following Governor Quinn’s recent signing of a bill that makes it more difficult for teachers to strike and makes it more easy for them to be fired based on performance. She will need to balance the needs of teachers and the needs of the city as a whole in order to be successful.