Thursday, March 8, 2012

Deadline extension for local school councils

Anyone planning on running for an LSC? If you haven't filled out an application you have some more time to do so. CPS are looking for people to run. Of course there are some controversies involved with this as well.
With too few candidates signed up for local school council elections, Chicago Public Schools has extended the filing deadline two weeks.

The district announced Wednesday that it will delay until March 23 the deadline for applicants to declare candidacy, thus allowing CPS more time to recruit parents and community members to run for two-year terms in April. CPS says that so far, only 2,060 people have signed up to seek 6,800 seats.

Created by the Illinois General Assembly in 1988, local school councils have the power to decide how school funds are allocated and also can hire and fire principals. But from the beginning, former Mayor Richard Daley fought against their school-based authority, saying district officials needed to have the ultimate power. A former Board of Education president acknowledged in 2007 that it was one of his administration's main goals to eliminate the locally elected councils.

After this year's 17 school closings and turnarounds were announced, members of nine local school councils filed a lawsuit last month saying schools have removed local school councils from certain communities, in essence disproportionately taking away community and parent input from minority, low-income neighborhoods.
More from the Sun-Times:
LSCs — composed of elected parents, teachers and community members — have the power to hire and fire principals and oversee school budgets. However, reform groups contend LSCs are becoming increasingly marginalized by the CPS academic probation process and the creation of new schools without LSCs.

A letter Tuesday from 27 school reform organizations accused Chicago Schools CEO Jean-Claude Brizard of a “personal lack of forceful visible leadership’’ in encouraging LSC candidacy. It asked him to assume “personal responsibility” for successful LSC recruitment and demanded a deadline extension.

In his news release a day later announcing the extension, Brizard was quoted as saying that serving on an LSC is “the most important role a parent or community member can have in supporting their schools and students.’’ CPS officials said they had planned the extension before the letter arrived.
You can always drop by your neighborhood school to pick up an application or you can visit the LSC page at the CPS official website. At Harlan's LSC last Thursday one of the administrators there was handing out LSC applications to anyone in attendance at the meeting. They offered a different deadline than the previous one, but surely there is an extension of that in light of this news!

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