Local School Council (LSC) Sparknotes

Basic Definition: 

Traditional Local School Councils (LSCs) are the democratically-elected governing bodies of individual Chicago Public Schools that are responsible for overseeing school priorities such as approving the school budget, the Continuous Improvement Work Plan (CIWP), and overseeing principal evaluation. This is a great way for members of the school community to become more civically engaged at the school level. LSCs typically consist of parents, teachers, non-teacher staff, community members, one student (high school only) and the principal. 

Why were LSCs created? 

Local School Councils were created in 1989 in response to the 19-day Chicago Public Schools Teachers’ strike in 1987 in which parents, teachers, and community members demanded having a voice in their school’s policy making. Mayor Harold Washington was a huge advocate for LSCs and backed its legislation. 

48th Ward Specific Schools:

The five public schools in our ward are all traditional local school councils: Goudy Elementary, Peirce Elementary, Swift Elementary, Hayt Elementary, and Senn High School. 

Each LSC in our ward contains 12 members. They meet on a monthly basis. 

Principal

1 Student Representative (high school) 

2 Community Representatives 

2 Teacher Representatives

1 Non-teacher Staff Representative

6 Parent Representatives 

2020 LSC Elections 

Local School Council members serve two-year terms and are elected by members of the school community. High school student representatives serve one-year terms. No experience is needed to become a candidate. As long as you are eligible and interested in representing the interests of your school community, then you should run! 

Timeline 

  • October 2, 2020 at 3 p.m.
    • Candidate nomination forms are due October 2, 2020 at 3 p.m. Completed forms must be turned in to the principal of the school where you intend to run for LSC along with two acceptable forms of identification. 
  • October 19-30 
    • Virtual candidate forums will be held at each LSC to give candidates an opportunity to introduce themselves to the school community. Details for each LSC forum in our ward are TBA. 
  • November 18, 2020 
    • In-person LSC elections at elementary schools (Report card pick-up day) 
  • November 19, 2020
    • In-person LSC elections at high schools (Report card pick-up day) 
  • January 10, 2021
    • Newly elected LSC members will be inaugurated 
  • January 11, 2021 
    • Newly elected LSC members will begin their roles 
  • July 1, 2022 
    • LSC member terms for 2020-2022 end 

Candidate ID Requirements 

Community Representative Candidates must present two forms of identification, one of which must bear a residential address within the attendance area or voting district (for “multi-area schools”) of the school at which he or she is seeking election.

Parent Representative Candidates must present two forms of identification, one of which must establish that they are the parent or legal guardian of a child enrolled in the school or such documentation must be present in the school’s records.  

Teacher and Non-Teacher Staff Representative Candidates must present two reliable forms of identification, one of which must be the candidate’s CPS Employee I. D. 

Candidate Eligibility 

No candidate may be related to the principal. 

Parent Representatives 

  • Candidates must have a student who is enrolled in and attending the school they are intending to run for. 
  • Candidates may not be an employee of the Board of Education after their nomination

Community Representatives 

  • Must be 17 years of age or older
  • Candidates may not be an employee of the Board of Education after their nomination
  • Candidates may not be a parent or legal guardian of a student enrolled at the school they are intending to run for. 

Teacher Representatives 

  • Any person employed full-time by the Board of Education assigned to the school in a teach position or in a position required teaching credentials. This includes PAT/TAT teachers. 
  • Assistant principals are not eligible. 

Non-Teacher Staff Representatives 

  • Any full-time employed full-time by the Board of Education and assigned to the school in a non-teacher position. 
  • Assistant principals and teacher staff members are not eligible. 

Student Representatives

  • Candidates must be a full-time student at the high school where they are nominated. 

Voting Process 

All elections are in-person. There is no absentee voting and no one can give their votes to a substitute or proxy. 

Community Representative Candidates 

Parents and community members may vote in the school’s election for the community representative. 

Parent Representative Candidates 

Parents and community members may vote in the school’s election for the parent representative. 

Teacher Representative Candidates 

The two teacher representatives are technically appointed to the LSC by the Board of Education following a non-binding advisory poll from teacher staff members. 

Non-Teacher Staff Representative Candidates 

The two teacher representatives are technically appointed by the Board of Education after the LSC takes a non-binding advisory poll from the school’s non-teacher staff members. 

Student Representative Candidates 

The student representative is technically appointed to each high school LSC by the Board of Education after the LSC takes a non-binding advisory poll from the student body.

Published by Kelly Garcia

Journalism & Latin American/Latino Studies | DePaul U '21

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