'Untimely' LSC election info questioned

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By ELLYN FORTINO

Of the 11 Local School Council elections Don Moore has been involved in, he says he's never waited so long to receive candidate information from the Chicago Public Schools.

Moore's organization, Designs for Change, works to improve urban public schools, and also helped recruit candidates for this year's LSC elections. He maintains that if CPS had provided timely information, that could have helped with his and other organizations' LSC recruitment process.

The executive director of Designs for Change said that after the election was extended this year from March 8 to March 23, the Office of LSC Relations was supposed to send out to the public a full list of all the schools that had Local School Councils and whether they had candidates. But the first list Designs for Change and other organizations received was for the schools that already had registered candidates.

Designs for Change complained to CPS that the list was not accurate.

"We said this is critical that we have all the schools that have a LSC," Moore said. "The ones that have no candidates are the ones we want to focus on most. That also raises the question of how much effort the Office of LSC Relations had put into recruiting at that point when they only produced 2,000 candidates before the deadline, and they didn't have an accurate list of schools with LSCs."

AustinTalks also experienced difficulties in receiving information from CPS. While communications staff denied any delays in conversations with AustinTalks, they said they're working on improving communication and processes to get information to the public, including providing an interactive map that will soon show election results.

CPS CEO Jean-Claude Brizard said in a press release that CPS "worked very hard this year on candidate recruitment." His communications staff echoes that points.

"The district held four rallies across the city and raised awareness of the LSC candidate filings through parent letters, calls and e-mails, school meetings, principal and network trainings, the CPS website, and social media outreach on Facebook and Twitter," said spokesperson Jamila Johnson said.

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