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Don't forget to Vote on May 1 and May 2

Chicago Local School Council (LSC) elections for Parent and Community Representatives are on May 1 for Elementary Schools and May 2 for High Schools. These important elections determine who makes decisions on things like school leadership, budget, and curriculum. Parents and legal guardians of student(s) enrolled at your neighborhood school as well as community residents over age 18 are eligible to vote. Polls are open between 6AM and 7PM. Get out there and vote.
You may think that because you live in the 3rd largest city in the US it would be difficult to have a voice in the public school system. Not so. Because of our de-centralized system of public education in Chicago, you really do have a voice in your local schools through the LSC election process.

Under the Chicago School Reform Act of 1989, each elementary school maintains an 11 member Local School Council (LSC) and each high school maintains a 12 member LSC. The LSC's consist of 6 parents or legal guardians of students in the school, 2 community representatives who live within the school's attendance area or established voting district, 2 teachers from the school's staff and the principal. For high schools, 1 full-time student also sits on the LSC. The elections on May 1 and 2 are for the parent and community representative spots on your neighborhood school's LSC.

LSC's are charged with the responsibility to plan and work with the administration and staff of the school, involve other parent and community members, evaluate and sign a contract with the principal, approve a school improvement plan, and approve an expenditure plan.

To find out which school's LSC election you are eligible to vote in contact the Office of School and Community Relations at the Chicago Public Schools 773.553.1400 and give them your address. Each parent or community voter is entitled to cast one vote for up to a total of 5 candidates. An over-vote will disqualify your ballot, but you may under-vote. In order to vote you must present 2 items of identification. 1 must be from the following list and must include your current address: Drivers license, State of Illinois ID, employer-issued ID, current resident lease, current utility bill, Student ID, Credit card, Voter Registration card, Library card, student's birth certificate, court documents, MediPlan/MedicAid card, IDPA card, Social Security card, Permanent Resident Card, ID from other governmental agency. The second item of identification may be from the previous list or may be other identification determined to be reliable by election judges.

While at the polls, you may ask to view a candidate's statement form. Each candidate may complete and file a Candidate Statement with their nomination papers. The candidate statement allows each candidate to state briefly his or her qualifications and plans if elected. These statements are an optional part of the candidate's nomination forms. They are posted in the school until April 30, but they are public documents and therefore may be requested for viewing by any eligible voter. Please review these statements carefully.

Each candidate or qualified civic organization is entitled to 1 pollwatcher in a polling place at any given time. Pollwatchers have the right to observe the process of identification of qualified voters, challenge a voter's right to vote, inspect each voting station when not in use, and be present and close enough to observe all counting and recording processes. Everyone is responsible to be on the lookout for electioneering. Electioneering is not permitted within the school building on election day. Electioneering, including the display of candidate buttons, posters, sample ballots, campaign literature, and verbal support or opposition to a candidate is not permitted within 100 feet of any public entrance to the polling place. Report all electioneering activities to a pollwatcher who may take the protest to the election judge. If this process is unsuccessful call 773.553.1400 with information regarding the observed electioneering activities.

LSC elections are an overlooked democratic process giving all residents of Chicago a voice in our system of public education. Please vote.

-John Dorr, Candidate for Community Representative to Amundsen High School's Local School Council.
 
 

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