Photo by Bill Stamets

Local School Councils (LSCs)


Local School Councils (LSCs) are elected bodies that consist of 6 parents, 2 community members, 2 teachers, 1 non-teaching staff, principal and 1 student (high school only) that are focused on school improvement, budget, and principal evaluation.

Formed 30 years ago, they are one of the most hyperlocal democratic levers in the country. LSCs are the elected body that most closely represents the racial and economic demographics of this city. LSCs were created on the belief that people whose children attend the schools and those who live in the neighborhood should have a say in what goes on in their schools. They have become a pipeline for community leadership; numerous LSCs have successfully fought for what they deserve. LSCs are essential instruments of our democracy.

Yet there has also been systematic disinvestment in LSCs over the past 30 years. This disinvestment has led to drastic parent disengagement. Over 18% of LSCs now have 50% or fewer parent representatives. Many LSCs are not fully empowered. Raise Your Hand is working to fully empower LSCs and to organize parents to participate in local democratic governance.

Raise Your Hand's LSC work includes:

  • Community workshops on LSC elections and campaigns
  • Digital convening and connection of LSC members across the city through the administration of the RYH LSC Connection Google Group
  • Organizing with LSC parents to advocate for changes at their local school and at the district level
  • Advocating for increased access through the passing of the Inclusive LSCs Bill (SB543) and the LSC Empowerment Bill (HB334 / SB188)
  • Active member of the LSCs.4.ALL Coalition and their programming (see below)

We hope you will find these LSC Resource pages useful. Keep in mind that this is a work in progress, and let us know what we can add:

  • LSC Survey: Take our short survey to help us plan for future resources & connect LSC members citywide (temporarily closed)
  • LSC 101: Introduction, rights, and responsibilities
  • LSC Campaign Basics: Tips and tools for running a successful LSC campaign
  • LSC Voting: Voting, election day, candidate challenges, election results
  • Effective LSCs: Resources and tools for active LSC members
  • RYH LSC-Community Solidarity Calls, COVID-19: Notes, actions & results from 13 Calls plus docs & communications from CPS to LSCs 


  • Raise Your Hand is a part of the LSCs.4.All Coalition (Blocks Together, Hope Center, Kenwood Oakland Community Organization, Chicago United for Equity, Pilsen Alliance, Northside Action 4 Justice, Chicago Teachers Union, and RYH), which is committed to making LSCs more effective and engaged.
  • LSCs.4.All Coalition provides technical assistance, module trainings, and policy change 
  • Reach LSCs4All through their hotline (707-LSC-4ALL), email ([email protected]), or Facebook page.

PHOTO: The first local school council members are sworn in at the University of Illinois at Chicago Pavilion. Photo by Bill Stamets.