Applications were to be turned in to schools by March 8, but CPS moved back the deadline to maximize participation in the upcoming elections, which will be held April 18 and 19, according to a CPS press release.
So far, the number of applications submitted to CPS has been underwhelming. More than 6,800 seats are at stake citywide in the elections, and a number of positions remain to be filled, the press release states.
Serving on a LSC is the most important role a parent or community member can have in supporting their schools and students, CPS CEO Jean-Claude Brizard said in a written statement.
“People throughout Chicago want to see their schools and students succeed,” he said.
“This is their opportunity to demand the change needed to create a high quality education for every child in every community in our city.”
According to CPS, 2,060 parent, community member, teacher, non-teaching staff and student candidates have signed up to run for LSCs – and many more are still needed.
About 27 local education stakeholders demanded Tuesday that CPS extend the candidate sign-up period so more can be involved in the process.
Donald Moore, executive director of Designs for Change, said his organization and others are working to recruit more candidates, but it’s hard when the school board doesn’t stand up for LSC members’ rights.
“(Candidates) say, ‘What’s the use in running, because the things we do keep getting undermined,” Moore said.
Moore said this is the first time he’s heard Brizard strongly say LSCs are valuable.
The councils have the power to hire and fire a principal and determine how to spend a school’s budget.
“One of the historical problems of the central administration has been absolute silence about the LSCs,” he said. “There is insufficient publication given to LSC elections.”
But district officials say they’ve held four rallies across the city and raised awareness of the LSC candidate filings through parent letters, calls and e-mails, school meetings, principal and network trainings, the CPS web site, and social media outreach.
At each public school, councils are made up of six elected parents, two community representatives, two teachers, one school staff member – who is not a teacher – and the principal. In high schools, a student also sits on the council.
Dwayne Truss, Austin resident and advocate, said moving the application date to March 23 is a “good thing” and will still allow enough time for community members and parents to learn about the candidates running for the various positions.
“We lobbied CPS to do it, because CPS hasn’t been really advertising or engaging parents and community members,” Truss said.
“It’s going to be sufficient time for candidates to get out there.”
Interested candidates need to submit nominating forms at the school of the LSC they are running for. The forms, along with additional information, can be found on the Local School Council’s election page, http://cps.edu/Pages/LSCElections.aspx, and at each public school.
For more information on how to run for an LSC position, call the CPS Office of LSC Relations at (773) 553-1400.