Monday, May 2, 2016

Planning for April 2017 school board elections

Although it seems a long way off, local school districts should begin thinking about next year’s Consolidated Election, to be held on April 4, 2017.

The season is approaching for petition filing (both candidates and referenda), withdrawals, filling vacancies, objections, ballot certification, and the like. The Illinois State Board of Elections will publish an official calendar of those dates and deadlines this fall, and has already published a Local Election Officials Handbook for the 2017 Consolidated Election, online here.

It lists the petition filing period as Dec. 12-19, 2016, citing the governing state law [10 ILCS 5/10-6(2)], which sets the filing deadline for school board members as being not more than 113 nor less than 106 days prior to the consolidated election. The handbook also notes that petitions may not be circulated prior to Sep. 20, 2016. [10 ILCS 5/10-4] (no more than 90 days preceding the last day for the filing of the petition).

IASB annually publishes its own calendar, as well, and links to essential election material and information online.

Materials and announcements related to the 2017 school board elections will be posted on the IASB website this fall. Meanwhile, it is not too early to be thinking about recruiting interested and qualified candidates to run for the 2017 election.

IASB has developed a package of pamphlets, “Recruiting School Board Candidates,” to help school districts recruit prospective school board candidates. This material is intended to support an ongoing process of identifying, recruiting, and mentoring future school board candidates, whether at the next election or during an appointment process.

Information in the packet includes:
  • School Board Member Job Description
  • Why School Board Members Serve
  • Characteristics of an Effective School Board Member
  • How to and Where to Find Qualified Candidates
  • Talking with Potential Candidates
  • School Board Election Timetable
  • Additional Resources
This extensive packet of information is available free of charge to member districts and can be ordered by calling Tammy Manley at 217/528-9688, ext. 1108, or by email at In addition, IASB field services directors are available to present this information to local boards and/or communities.
Questions about the information contained in this material should be directed to the IASB communications department at