Local school elections held this week

April 18, 2018
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West Side residents will get a chance this week to choose who will represent them for the next two years on their Local School Council.

And after Wednesday and Thursday’s elections, there will still be a chance for Austin residents to serve on their LSC, as there aren’t enough candidates for 12 of Austin’s 17 Austin public schools.

The Chicago Sun-Times reported this week that 290 Chicago Public Schools LSCs across the city  – or 57 percent – don’t have enough candidates to fill the 12-seat boards. A typical LSC has 12 positions: six parents, two community members, two teachers, a staff member who’s not a teacher and the school principal.

Congressman Danny Davis, who once served on the Cook County Jail Local School Council, said he hopes as many people as possible participate in this week’s elections, which are being held at each school that has an LSC.

“Being involved is part of the citizenship responsibility,” Davis said.

State Rep. La Shawn Ford, who was a community representative on the George Rogers Clark Elementary LSC from 2014 to 2016, said serving in this way is the best, positive way for parents to get involved in decisions about their children’s schools.

“LSCs play a major role in shaping the future of schools and communities. If we are going to allow them to continue to run our schools, we have to support them and demand progress,” Ford said in a statement.

Dick Simpson, a University of Illinois at Chicago political science professor and former Chicago alderman, said the importance of LSCs, while limited, are often underrated.

LSC members’ main tasks include approving a school’s budget and selecting the principal, according to CPS. But it’s the Chicago Board of Education – whose members are appointed by Mayor Rahm Emanuel – that makes most of the major decisions affecting the district’s schools.

Voting for elementary school LSCs will be held from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. April 18, while high school LSC voting will take place from 6 a.m. until 7 p.m. April 19. High school voters will also choose a student representative.

All residents who are at least 18 and living within the school’s attendance boundary are eligible to vote. Parents with students who attend the school are also eligible to vote, even if they don’t live in the attendance boundary. You don’t have to be a U.S. citizen or registered voter to participate.

LSC members will begin their two-year term July 1, while the high school student representative will serve one year.

Voters will need to bring two forms of ID – one form if you are listed as a parent of a child at the school, according to the LSC election guide.

After this week’s elections, those interested in running for a a still-vacant LSC seat can contact the district’s Office of Local School Council Relations.

The Chicago Sun-Times has compiled a searchable table that lists everyone running in this week’s LSC elections, including which schools will still need to fill vacancies after this week’s elections:

Milton Brunson Special Elementary

  • Parent candidates: 2 of 6 spots
  • Community candidates 2 of 2 spots

George Leland Elementary

  • Parent candidates: 6 of 6 spots
  • Community candidates: 1 of 2 spots

Michele Clark Magnet School

  • Parent candidates: 4 of 6 spots
  • Community candidates 3 of 2 spots

Oscar DePriest Elementary School

  • Parent candidates: 7 of 6 spots
  • Community candidates: 5 of 2 spots

Frederic Douglas Academy High School

  • Parent candidates: 5 of 6 spots
  • Community candidates: 2 of 2 spots

Edward K. Duke Ellington

  • Parent candidates: 6 of 6 spots
  • Community candidates: 2 of 2 spots

John Hay Community Academy

  • Parent candidates: 4 of 6 spots
  • Community candidates: 2 of 2 spots

Joseph Lovett Elementary School

  • Parent candidates: 6 of 6 spots
  • Community candidates: 3 of 2 spots

Ronald E. McNair Elementary School

  • Parent candidates: 4 of 6 spots
  • Community candidates: 0 of 2 spots

Henry H. Nash Elementary School

  • Parent candidates: 5 of 6 spots
  • Community candidates: 2 of 2 spots

Harriet Sayre Elementary Language Academy

  • Parent candidates: 5 of 6 spots
  • Community candidates: 4 of 2 spots

Spencer Elementary School

  • Parent candidates: 6 of 6 spots
  • Community candidates: 2 of 2 spots

Austin College and Career Academy High School

  • Parent candidates: 3 of 6 spots
  • Community candidates: 3 of 2 spots

Ella Flagg Young Elementary School

  • Parent candidates: 7 of 6 spots
  • Community candidates: 3 of 2 spots

George Rogers Clark Elementary School

  • Parent candidates: 6 of 6 spots
  • Community candidates: 1 of 2 spots

Howe Elementary School of Excellence

  • Parent candidates: 6 of 6 spots
  • Community candidates: 3 of 2 spots

Leslie Lewis Elementary School

  • Parent candidates: 3 of 6 spots
  • Community candidates: 2 of 2 spots

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