By Howard Schwach
The president of Community School Board 27 has called an emergency town hall meeting for Monday, October 7 to address what he and other board members see as a major problem looming in terms of parent's access to the school system.
"We simply have no clue as to what form local representation will take when the school board is phased out at the end of this school year," Steve Greenberg, the board's president told The Wave, "We need a plan that will have some teeth, not a plan where a small group of people will meet with the district superintendent once in a while."
The school boards are being phased out as part of a new governance plan that gives control over the schools to the Mayor and to his Chancellor.
As part of the law, a commission made up of 20 state elected officials will be meeting to hammer out a new plan for parent and community participation in the school system.
That state task force will hold public hearings shortly and a decision will be made in late February or early March as to the form that parental representation will take in the future.
Greenberg thinks that parents have an obligation to attend those hearings to let the legislators know what they want in terms of representation.
"If only school board members show up at those hearings, the legislators will think that parents do not care," Greenberg says. "Parents have to say their piece now or they might well not have a chance later on."
Greenberg argues that without an elected representation that "someone in Manhattan, someone who does not know Rockaway nor care for Rockaway, will make decisions that will directly effect where your child attends school and what policies will be adopted for your schools and your communities."
"We know about our communities," he adds. "We know what the community needs because it is also our community. Who is going to speak for the community and for the kids when we are gone."
The meeting will be held at the district's newest school, MS 137 at 109-15 98 Street in Ozone Park at 7 p.m.
Rockaway residents traveling to the school should make a right turn off Cross Bay Boulevard at Rockaway Boulevard and look for the bowling alley on the right. The school is right behind the alley.