CPS LSC candidate application deadline nears with few registered for April election

While many applications are typically submitted within the last week of the window, district officials are pushing to spread awareness ahead of the deadline.

SHARE CPS LSC candidate application deadline nears with few registered for April election
Local school council members from across the city hold a rally for school funding in 2015.

Local school council members from across the city hold a rally for school funding in 2015.

Ashlee Rezin/Sun-Times file photos

Few candidates have registered for Chicago Public Schools’ mid-April Local School Council elections ahead of the application deadline March 4.

Elections will be held this spring for 6,239 LSC positions across 509 schools, yet only 722 candidate applications had been submitted as of Friday, officials said. Four schools — Dawes, Barton, Carson and Pickard elementary schools on the South and Southwest Sides — have full slates of candidates, while 307 schools don’t have a single application for their LSCs.

The school councils, which hire and choose whether to retain school principals, as well as approve budgets and oversee school operations and other pressing matters, are made up of teachers, support staff, parents, students and community members.

CPS has struggled to attract LSC candidates in years past, with interest fading since the councils were created through state legislation about three decades ago. There was a bit of a resurgence in late 2020 as activism around certain school issues generated more interest in those elections, though COVID-19 limitations meant CPS had to quickly scrape together a mail-in voting system.

District officials said they recognize a large number of applications are typically submitted within the last week of the window, but they are pushing to spread awareness ahead of the deadline.

CPS spokeswoman Mary Fergus noted “many local city leaders began their civic engagement as LSC members.

“This voluntary role offers an individual the opportunity to learn more about how school-based instructional and operational decisions are made and be part of the efforts to improve the teaching and learning climate and culture at a school and our district.”

More information about candidacy, voting and serving as an election judge can be found on CPS’ LSC website, cps.edu/LSC. That’s also where applications can be downloaded, or paperwork can be picked up at a school or the LSC relations office at 2651 W. Washington Blvd.

A map at schoolinfo.cps.edu/map-lscelection shows which schools have openings for

Voting will take place April 20 for elementary schools and April 21 for high schools.

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