Forty-nine challenges have been filed contesting the results of local school council elections at 39 schools. The petitioners seek recounts, new elections or declarations that winning candidates are ineligible to serve.

C.E. Hughes Elementary has six post-election challenges; Corliss High has three, and Westinghouse High and Curtis and Wendell Smith elementary schools each have two.

The challenges include allegations that a parent winner is not a legal guardian of a child enrolled at the school and that a parent winner no longer lives inside a school’s attendance area. In some cases, school administrators are charged with election misconduct, including electioneering and improper ballot distribution and handling.

Hearings on the challenges are expected to be completed by mid-May. “We put the burden on the people complaining,” says Assistant Attorney John Weinberger. “They have to prove by the preponderance of the evidence that the charges are true and serious enough to affect the election.”

The recommendations of the hearing officers are forwarded to the regional education officers, who make the final decision.

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