What, schools are holding elections today? Why didn’t anyone tell us?
But seriously folks, Local School Council election day is upon us, at least at the elementary level, and then we get to do it all over again tomorrow at the high schools. We won’t know if voters give a hoot until the final ballots are tallied, but we can say that more people, especially at the community level, stepped up as candidates than in previous years.
This should make for some interesting horse races. At Bell, six community members are vying for two positions; Coonley has seven community members for two openings and 13 parents running for just six seats; Waters tops them both with nine community candidates. In 2010, community members were elected to Bell’s LSC with just nine and 10 votes. Will increased competition translate into more votes being cast?
A slew of hopefuls are competing in their first LSC race, many of them prompted to run when CPS extended the filing deadline due to a dearth of candidates, only to discover that a bunch of other people had the same idea. Oh, did we imply you were a shoo-in if you just put your name on the ballot? Our bad. How many of these newbies will capture seats, or will incumbents prevail?
The real question is how schools will benefit from this heightened interest. At Tuesday night’s meeting of Friends of Ravenswood School (FORS), more than half the attendees were running for LSC or married to someone running for LSC. “You’re not all going to get elected,” said Principal Heather Connolly, stating the obvious given the school’s five community candidates. She encouraged unsuccessful LSC candidates to channel their energy and enthusiasm into FORS. “We need that commitment.”
Voting at your neighborhood school runs through 7 p.m. tonight. Check out our guide on where and how to vote.