Let’s take a break from the upcoming primary in which nobody is planning to vote and turn our attention to the upcoming Local School Council elections, for which CPS fears not enough people are planning to run.
As the elections approach–April 18 at elementary schools, April 19 at high schools–and the deadline for candidate applications looms (March 8, submitted directly to the school), CPS has launched an all-out media blitz, if ads on CTA buses and trains can be considered a blitz, to avoid a repeat of 2010 in which the candidate deadline had to be extended several weeks for lack of interest.
Don’t make them beg, toss your hat in the ring.
If the principal is a school’s CEO, the LSC is its board of directors, overseeing discretionary spending to the tune of $500,000, hiring and firing principals and developing plans for academic advancement. There are worse ways to spend your time once a month.
It’s not like you have to campaign from state to state to win your party’s nomination. No signatures are required to get your name on a ballot. There is, ahem, a residency requirement, but that’s about the only stipulation. You don’t even need to be a U.S. citizen or a registered voter. All you have to prove is that you live within a school’s attendance boundaries and you’re good to go.
Each school has six LSC slots for parents (your child must be enrolled at the school) and two for community members, who are elected to two-year terms. The council also includes two teachers from the school (elected by their peers), a non-teacher staff member, the principal and, at high schools, a student representative.
Candidate application forms are available online, as well as the election timeline. Remember, March 8, 3 p.m., is the application deadline.