Local School Councils- The Who, What, Where, When & Why

March 6, 2012

Part 1- Who Can and Should Run?

Let's start with a simple idea. You feel that somehow the schools are not working. It is a fact that Chicago schools, despite their improvements and despite the glowing reviews of this neighborhood's schools, are failing to educate our children. Maybe you are unhappy about this and feel you could have a positive impact on the situation. Let's put that aside for the moment. Let's start with another simple idea. You feel that the current economic situation of this country is beyond your control. You may have bought a home and it is under water. What is the single most important factor considered by most people regarding home ownership? Schools? Can we say that schools are among the biggest factors in determining how much your real estate is valued? Yes! Let's put that aside for the moment. You are a parent or you plan to be a parent. Or you are a teacher and want to get involved with the local school. You have talents you know would be of use to the school. Let's put that aside for the moment. You believe government simply doesn't work. They waste thousands and untold thousands. DAMN if you were in there you could change things. But you don't want to run for office. There is, right in this neighborhood, government entities that quietly handle hundreds of thousands of dollars, have the power to hire and the power to dismiss. They can demonstrate the highest standards of community involvement or be cesspools, with cronyism and mischief. They are small 'd' democracy. They have a huge impact on the quality of our children's education and the value of your home. They are Local School Councils. And, according to Raise Your Hand, no one is running for the open seats. Each LSC has the power to write the strategic plan for the school, to terminate the principal, to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars- each. They do require work. And you will be recognized by The Bulldog and the community for your good works. So let's review YOU can
  • Have an effect on your real estate value
  • Handle large budgets
  • Have a real effect on student education
  • Join a horrible mess or become an example of the power of community taking positive action
How many hours does it take? In general there are monthly meetings that can last a few hours. Interviewing a new principal can take more time and building the school's strategic plan can take a lot of effort. The Bulldog wants YOU to run for LSC. You are informed by reading this site. You are engaged in the community, that is demonstrated by your being a reader. You have already had a positive influence on this community by doing something when we point at the elephants. Our awards always site the change you made after reading us. Take the call. Follow your instincts. This isn't hard and it can be great.  


To run for LSC you need to complete a nomination form and submit it to the neighborhood school or selective enrollment school you want to serve on. Let's take that apart. The map below shows all the neighborhood schools in The Bulldog area. The colored areas are neighborhood elementary schools and the dark lines represent the attendance areas of neighborhood high schools. View North Side Public Schools in a larger map These are the most common schools we discuss when we say local schools. Here is a list of the North Side 'Neighborhood' schools that use this map to determine their attendance area: Elementary Schools
  • Audubon
  • Bateman
  • Bell
  • Blaine
  • Budlong
  • Chappell
  • Cleveland
  • Coonley
  • Hamilton
  • Hibbard
  • Jamieson
  • Linne
  • McPherson
  • Peterson
  • Pierce
  • Ravenswood
  • Stockton
  • Trumbull
  • Waters
High Schools
  • Amundsen
  • Lake View
  • Mather
  • Roosevelt
  • Schurz
  • Senn
If you reside within the attendance area of any of these schools you may run for and vote in the LSC elections in each school. Your children are given preference when applying for open spots in these schools. There are other schools that have LSCs too. You can run for positions in those LSCs and you can vote in the LSC elections. If you have a child you can also apply for them to be a student. Below is a list of the other schools the Ravenswood area is served by that have LSCs. Elementary Schools
  • Courtenay
  • Disney
  • Inter-American
  • Stock
  • Stone
High Schools
  • Lane Tech
  • North Side
  • North Side Learning
  • Payton
  • Prosser
  • Rickover Military
  • Uplift
  • Vaughn
  • Von Stueben
Let's do a FAQ: I'm not documented. Can I run? Yes. Parents should be able to demonstrate their child is enrolled in the school. That means you are listed on a student birth record, a court document, a tax return or another legal document. Proof of citizenship was not relevant when the law was written and is not relevant. You may participate and you may run. YOU ARE ENCOURAGED TO RUN. Community residents who are not documented may also run. Even students aged 18 or more may run.  To run you must present two forms of acceptable ID. The acceptable forms of ID are listed on page 23-4 of the 2012 Chicago Public Schools Local School Council Election Guide. Reading down the list, utility payments, Matricula Consular, Employee IDs, Illinois Department of Public Aid, and apartment/ house lease agreements are all acceptable as a form of ID. The School says the election is filled. This is an election. That entails choice. This tactic is used by school clerks and other school personnel to control the LSC election. It is not legal. Call The Bulldog and ask us to accompany you to the school (+1.773.828.9240). Call the Office of Local School Council Relations at +1.773.553.1400 and make a statement. This could be a cause for disciplinary action against any CPS employee who does not accept your nomination papers. I don't want to get all the signatures needed. The only signature required to run for LSC is your signature. You can sign a document, right? Can I fax my application to the school? NO! The minimum you must do by Thurs, Mar 8 at 3P is:
I work during school hours. But I want to run. Have a friend take the file to the school on your behalf. If you can, photocopy the identification papers and include them in the file. The file does not have to be complete on Thurs, Mar 8 to be accepted. The school is supposed to contact you to inquire about missing parts of the file. (But an incomplete file can be a reason to protest your certification as a candidate. See part 2 and complete the file).
Download the 2012 Chicago Public Schools Local School Council Election Guide   SPANISH LANGUAGE Read Part 2- Challenging Your Opponent Read Part 3- Winning Election   *** UPDATE Wed, Mar 7, 2012 @ 3.25P Added more details for parents and community members who are unable to personally visit the school to submit their nomination file ***  

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