Chicago Public Schools to Host Local School Council Elections; 6th - 8th Grade Students Running for New Open Local School Council Seats
07 April 2022
Elementary Local School Council Elections Slated for April 20 and High School Elections April 21
CHICAGO - As Chicago Public Schools (CPS) prepares for the 2022-23 school year, the District encourages families, staff, and community members to make their plans now for voting in the Local School Council Elections (LSC), just two weeks away. The District received 6,129 candidate applications for the April LSC elections and for the first time in CPS History, some of those candidates are sixth, seventh and eighth graders who are now able to run for one new open spot on their school’s council.
“The number of 2022 LSC candidates reflects our collective, hope, dedication and commitment to make our City’s schools even stronger,” said CPS CEO Pedro Martinez. “We welcome the expanded voice of our student LSC members. Together, these volunteer leaders will play an integral role in helping us move the District forward.”
Local School Councils work to support the academic progress, financial stability and integrity of District schools. LSC members are dedicated volunteer school leaders, comprised of parents, community members, students and staff who approve budgets, select principals, renew principal contracts, evaluate a principal’s professional performance, and approve the school-based academic plan. LSC alumni include civic leaders, elected officials, and members of the Chicago Board of Education.
All CPS parents can vote in their child(ren)’s school and community members and can use this map to determine at which schools they can cast their ballot. Each school’s Local School Council provides an opportunity for robust civic engagement and collaboration to strengthen our schools.
Local School Councils have long had an open seat for high school members from each school and this year, another 234 high school students are running for the chance to serve on one of the 89 high school councils. Meanwhile, 759 intermediate level students are running for the first-time chance to serve on 420 elementary school councils. Unlike parents and community members, the elementary and high school students serve a one-year-term.
Many District students have already participated this spring in virtual and in-person candidate forums. Helen C. Peirce School of International Studies - an elementary school – recently held a virtual student candidate forum last month where students engaged in the election process by questioning three peers running for the open school seat. Students asked candidates about their general platform as well as their views on recycling, willingness to speak up to adults, and the quality of school lunches, among other issues.
Peirce Principal Lori Zaimi says the forum was a powerful event for the school, and she plans to organize additional virtual school events involving more students.
“For the first time, we were able to bring all 1050 students together,” said Zaimi. “We now see the power in candidate forums. Students did an amazing job asking questions.”
More than 96 percent of CPS schools have enough candidates to fill open seats and meet quorum requirements for the LSC open meetings. District leaders will continue to work with those schools who need members so that each school can start the new school year strong.
The District collaborated with local community organizations and LSCs in more than 100 engagement sessions through March 31, promoting candidacy and the election. To watch one of the recorded sessions, click here or visit the District’s Local School Councils (LSCs) website page. New LSC members will begin their terms July 1, 2022.
Important LSC Election Days Facts
In-person voting hours: 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. April 20 (elementary) and April 21 (high school)
Parents/community members can vote for up to five candidates in any combination.
For ballots, voters can mark “X” for the candidate of their choosing.
Parents can vote at their child’s school and their local elementary and high school.