Few candidates registered for the Chicago Public Schools mid-April local school board elections before the March 4 nomination deadline.
Elections will be held this spring for 6,239 LSC positions at 509 schools, but only 722 applications were submitted as of Friday, officials said. Four schools — Dawes, Barton, Carson and Pickard Elementary on the south and southwest sides — have full slates of candidates, while 307 schools do not have a single nomination for their LSCs.
School councils, which hire and retain principals, approve budgets, and oversee school operations and other pressing matters, are made up of teachers, support staff, parents, students and community members. Applications are due March 4.
The CPS has struggled to attract LSC applicants in recent years, with interest waning since the councils were established by state legislation some three decades ago. There was a bit of a resurgence in late 2020 as activism around some school issues sparked more interest in these elections, although COVID-19 limitations forced the CPS to quickly put in place a postal voting system.
District officials said they recognize a large number of applications are typically submitted in the last week of the window, but are pushing to raise awareness ahead of the deadline.
CPS spokeswoman Mary Fergus noted that “many local civic leaders began their civic engagement as members of the LSC.
“This volunteer role offers an individual the opportunity to learn more about how instructional and operational decisions in a school setting are made and to be part of efforts to improve the teaching and learning climate and culture. in a school and our district.”
More information about running, voting, and being an election judge can be found on the CPS LSC website, cps.edu/LSC. This is also where applications can be uploaded or documents can be picked up at a school or at the LSC Relations office at 2651 W. Washington Blvd. A map at schoolinfo.cps.edu/map-lscelection shows which schools have openings for
The vote will take place on April 20 for elementary schools and April 21 for secondary schools.