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Local school council candidacy deadline extended

CPS CEO Jean-Claude Brizard. File photo. | Rich Hein~Sun-Times

CPS CEO Jean-Claude Brizard. File photo. | Rich Hein~Sun-Times

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Updated: April 10, 2012 11:32AM

The deadline for running for a local school council seat at a Chicago public school was extended Wednesday to March 23 — with thousands of candidates still needed.

So far, more than 2,060 candidates have agreed to run — more than at this point in the last election — but more than 6,800 are needed, district officials said.

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.

CPS has held four rallies about the elections; sent letters, calls and emails to parents; displayed posters about the effort and put promotional messages on the CPS phone system, the district news release said.

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