Aldermen concerned about rapid changes in the Chicago Public Schools are upset that they’re not better informed, the Sun-Times reported today. “Are our opinions valued?” 29th Ward alderman Ike Carothers asked school officials Tuesday.

It’s great that members of the city’s legislative branch are concerned enough about the restructuring of the school system to ask a few questions about it. Maybe they’ll get inspired and do it again sometime.

The gripes and grilling came during a meeting of the City Council’s education committee–seemingly an appropriate venue for aldermen to have a public exchange with top school leaders.

It’s also a relatively unused one. Over the last year, by my count–as CPS has announced a series of school closings and major policy changes, floated proposals for boarding schools and other out-of-the-box ideas, campaigned for a change in state education funding, struggled to work with the most vulnerable young people, lost thousands more students who dropped out [scroll down], and suffered a horrific spate of student violence–the education committee has met three times. In other words, once before this week.

The committee has an annual budget of about $206,000 and employs two staffers hired by its chair, 17th Ward alderman Latasha Thomas.