Hundreds of local school councils across Chicago will be holding elections Wednesday and Thursday.
Elementary school LSC elections are Nov. 18, and high school LSC elections are Nov. 19. In-person polls are open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Local school councils — which can make school budget and principal hiring decisions — were once seen as a bastion of school-level democracy, according to Chalkbeat Chicago.
But in recent years, LSCs have struggled to keep members. WBEZ found this summer that only one-third of elementary and high schools with councils had a full roster of members.
Local school councils have seats for 13 members, including parents, community members, teacher representatives, the school principal and, in high schools, a student. They must have seven members to make a quorum.
Parents, legal guardians or temporary custodians should have received mail-in ballots via the mail as should have teachers; they can vote in-person instead.
High school students will receive an electronic ballot from their school.
Community members can only vote in-person. Curbside voting is available/ Any community member who is 17 years or older and lives in the school’s LSC voting district may vote.
Where can you vote? Use this tool created by Josh Kalov. Many schools published candidate statements (and videos of candidate forums) on their websites.
Here are some tips on filling out the ballot:
- Make sure you only mark your choices with an X. Any other mark will not be counted as a vote and might result in your entire ballot being thrown out.
- You can vote for up to five candidates – don’t make more than five X’s.
- Voting for more than five may result in your entire ballot being thrown out.
- The up to five candidates you vote for can be a combination of parents and community members.
Dec 1 is the deadline for LSC election judges to review, verify and certify all mail-in and in-person ballots. Principals post the election results for their school by 5 p.m. Dec 1.
New members will be sworn in Jan. 10 and begin their roles the next day.
Learn more here:
- Chicago Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights blog: Everything You Need to Know About Chicago’s Local School Council Elections
- CPS’ LSC Elections FAQ (published on or around Nov 9): English | Spanish
- Chalkbeat Chicago: LSC Election Guide
- Chicago Lawyers’ Committee blog: CPS Agrees to Expand Voter Access in LSC Elections
- RYH’s Local School Council Resources