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How Many Votes Does It Take to Win an LSC Election? Fewer Than You’d Think

By Patty Wetli | Friday, April 13, 2012

Blaine Elementary. Credit: Mike Fourcher

In 1989, during the first LSC elections, 300,000 votes were cast–that’s roughly what Rahmbo earned to become mayor. But like a lot of statistics, that oft-referenced number is slightly deceiving. Divide the amount of votes among multiple candidates at hundreds of schools and it’s clear that anyone with a handful of friends (real, not Facebook) has a mighty good chance of snagging a seat on the LSC of his or her choice. At a number of schools the positions are as uncontested as an incumbent Democrat in a Chicago primary.

LSC representatives have the power to hire or fire a school’s principal. They determine where to funnel hundreds of thousands of dollars in discretionary spending. And if there’s little competition and a low level of interest from parents and the community, they can earn these privileges by collecting fewer than a dozen votes.

CSJ, through a Freedom of Information Act request of Chicago Public Schools, has obtained documents that break down the number of LSC candidates per school and their respective vote totals in 2010. Note: Each LSC consists of the school’s principal, six parents, two community members, two teachers, one non-teaching staff member and, in high schools, one student.

HIGH SCHOOLS

Lake View, 4015 N. Ashland Ave.

  • Five parents running uncontested: top vote-getter, 17; low total, 7
  • Six community members contesting two openings: top vote-getter, 34; second, 28

Lane Tech, 2501 W. Addison St.

  • Seven parents contesting six openings: top vote-getter, 117; low winning total, 27
  • Three community members contesting two openings: top vote-getter, 110; second, 84

 

ELEMENTARY SCHOOLS

Audubon, 3500 N. Hoyne Ave.

  • Fourteen parents contesting six openings: top vote-getter, 63; low winning total, 42
  • Two community members running uncontested: vote totals 18 and 9

Blaine, 1420 W. Grace St.

  • Ten parents contesting six openings: top vote-getter, 97; low winning total, 44
  • One community member running uncontested: 45 votes

Burley, 1630 W. Barry Ave.

  • Eight parents contesting six openings: top vote-getter, 84; low winning total, 46
  • One community member running uncontested: vote total 24

Hamilton, 1650 W. Cornelia Ave.

  • Six parents running uncontested: top vote-getter, 24; low winning total, 2
  • Five community members contesting two openings: top vote-getter, 18; second, 11

Jahn, 3149 N. Wolcott Ave.

  • Three parents running uncontested: top vote-getter, 16; low winning total, 15
  • Three community members contesting two openings: top vote-getter, 14; second, 12

 

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