I'm told that there's a proposal working its way through the legislature to add a non-teaching staff member to the composition of local school councils (LCSs) and that this is a bad thing because it would undo the parent majority that has made LSCs such an important part of the success of so many Chicago schools. Is that right? Do LSCs really matter any more, given how many schools are on probation and how many LSCs are under the thumb of their principals? What's so bad about having a clerk or aide or even a crossing guard on an LSC, anyway? Seems sort of snobby to leave them out. Read below for all the details, then tell me how wrong I am.
Here's the email:
are currently under attack?
adding "one member" of "non-teaching staff" to serve on every LSC. It
has already passed quietly, unnoticed in the House, and there is a
Senate hearing on it tomorrow, Thursday April 29 at 3:30 PM.
children are included in this description, so are office clerks, truant
officers, computer technicians, driver education teachers, stadium
directors, audiometric and vision screening technicians and library
assistants. And the law is written so vaguely that it could apply to the
security guard, the bus monitor, the lunchroom manager, the janitor,
Senators to take this bill off the table.
legislation was proposed by the CTU (Chicago Teacher's Union), who also
represents dues-paying "non-teaching" members. The fact that the CTU is
framing this as an issue of equity and lack of inclusion is
disingenuous when (1) they neglected to point out the existing voting
rights of staff to legislators and (2) no LSC, parent or community input
was sought in regards to HB6017.
non-teaching staff that work more than 2.5 days per week in an
attendance area are eligible to vote in the teacher LSC election. If
this doesn't happen consistently across the city, this is an awareness
problem, not a legislative issue.
gridlock with an even number of voting members, hindering effective
operations of all LSCs. CPS, who we know is already not crazy about
LSCs, is not-so surprisingly quiet on their position to HB6017.
clerk serve on the LSC. This the same clerk who is supposed to report on
the finances to the LSC and is going to serve as oversight for his or
herself? This is a clear conflict of interest.
Education committee members:
majority on LSCs -- or, the constituency with the most at stake in a
that at a time when the CTU should be decking their time and resources
to lobby for fixing school funding so that the education and futures of
the city's children are not at risk that they choose instead to curry
favor with their "non-teaching" dues-paying members. With the impending
budget cuts, soon there will be no one left in the schools but the
office clerk, an engineer, a security guard and a janitor.