Local School Councils

Contact Information

Office of Local School Council Relations
Garfield Park Office
2651 W. Washington
Blvd, 3rd Floor
Chicago, Illinois 60612
773-553-1400 | Main
773-553-6563 | Fax

About Local School Councils

The Local School Councils serve as the policy-making body of the school. LSCs have remained an important vehicle for participatory democracy, allowing not only educators but parents the opportunity to make important decisions about how their children will be educated. It’s through these decisions that parents are connected with; educators to better align family and community engagement goals to student achievement; community members to help leverage community resources for the school; and other parents to share best practices and success stories.

LSC membership is a reflection of engaged and empowered parent, community, student, and educational leaders. It is through LSCs that parents are given a unique opportunity to have a voice in the decision-making table and engage in student-driven dialogue with community members, educators, students, and other parents.

Quick Facts

There are currently 513 local school councils.  They are made up of parents, community residents, school staff, and principals.  There are 479 “elected” LSCs and 34 “appointed” LSCs:

  • Traditional LSCs
  • Appointed Local School Councils
  • Appointed Local School Councils: Boards of Governors

Composition of Traditional LSC (LSC):

  • The principal
  • 6 parents
  • 2 community representatives
  • 2 teacher representatives  
  • 1 Non-teacher representative
  • 1 student representative  (high school)

Appointed LSCs (ALCS):

  • 6 parents
  • 2 community representatives
  • 2 teacher representatives  
  • 2 advocates
  • 1 student representative  (high school)

Appointed LSCs:  Boards of Governors (BOGs)

  • The principal
  • 6 parents
  • 2 community representatives
  • 2 teacher representatives  
  • 2 advocates
  • 1 JROTC instructor
  • 1 student representative (Cadet Battalion Commander or Senior Cadet)

*The composition of BOGs may vary from the list above.

Brief Historical Background:

1979 - CPS system goes bankrupt; School Finance Authority established.
1985 - Legislation establishes statewide school accountability.
1987 - CPS endures a 19 day school strike.

  • Mayor Harold Washington convenes Education Summit.

1988 - Chicago School Reform Act passes;

  • Over 500 Local School Councils created, subdistrict councils, School Board Nominating Commission, and Mayor-appointed interim board.
  • Shifts resources to schools, including State Chapter 1 funds.
  • Mandates school improvement plans.

1989 - October: Election of first LSC

  • 17,256 people run for seats.
  • 312,000 people cast their ballots.
  • 6,000 members elected to serve on LSCs.
  • Nominating Commission nominates permanent 15-member board.

1990-91 - LSC voting process declared unconstitutional.

  • Legislature enacts law creating new LSC election process.

1993 - CPS´ budget does not balance; schools do not open on time.

  • Massive parent and community protests.
  • Court intervenes to open schools.
  • Budget balanced by issuing bonds and taking part of State Chapter 1 money, teachers´ pension fund, and SFA reserve fund.

1994 - Election dates changed to spring report card pick-up day.
1995 - Legislation restructures CPS system;

Page Last Modified on Thursday, April 05, 2018