Local school councils might sound as thrilling as the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District, but council members get to choose a school?s principal and decide how to use school resources and discretionary money. Needless to say, local school councils can play an important role as Chicago Public Schools battle a $900 million budget deficit. The Center Square Journal has been receiving a lot of questions about next week?s elections, and here are answers to the most frequent questions we?ve received. All information can also be found in the Chicago Public Schools?s local school council election guide for 2010. Also check out our candidates page to see profiles on some of the candidates running for local school councils in the Lincoln Square, Northcenter, and Ravenswood neighborhoods.
Who can vote?
All parents, legal guardians, and temporary custodians can vote at any public school where their child is enrolled. Residents who are 18 years old or older can vote at the school that includes their residence in its attendance area or if the school has an established voting district.
When are the elections held?
Local school council elections for elementary schools are held on April 21, and elections for high schools are held on April 22. Ballots can be cast for both elections between 6 a.m. and 7 p.m. There is no absentee voting, proxy voting, or write-in voting.
What do you need to bring with you in order to vote?
Voters need to bring two forms of identification. Parents must bring a report card or another school document that proves they have a child enrolled at the school where they?re voting. Community residents must bring a form of identification that proves they live within the school?s attendance area or voting district. The other form of identification can be a debit or credit card, a driver?s license, library card, residential lease, voter registration card, or Social Security card.
How many positions are there?
Local school councils include the principal, six parents, two teachers, and two community residents, and one full-time high school student can be elected for high school councils.
When will the results be made public?
CPS spokesman Malon Edwards says public school officials are currently figuring out how to make election results available after the polls close. Election results have to be certified during a public meeting before 8 p.m. on April 30.