2005-03-11 / Community

DOE Extends Deadline For CEC Candidates

The New York City Department of Education (DOE) “in order to achieve the utmost parent participation,” has extended the application deadline for candidates for local Community Education Councils (CEC) from March 11 to March 19.

This is the second time in a row that the DOE has had to extend the deadline in order to get an adequate number of candidates for the councils.

This year, it has become even more difficult as the councils have banded together to plan a lawsuit against the department for failure to allow the councils to fulfill what they see as their mandate. Many local parents who would have otherwise have run for the CEC have said they will not do so because the councils have been made irrelevant by the chancellor and the mayor.

State education law stipulates that the current term for Education Council members ends on June 30, 2005. The next term will begin on July 1, 2005, and continue through June 30, 2007. Current Education Council members may reapply if they meet eligibility requirements.

As part of the application process, the DOE has conducted a public outreach campaign to encourage parents to nominate themselves, serve on the Education Councils, and contribute to the system-wide reform efforts to improve the City’s public schools. The Citywide campaign has included posters appearing in City schools, agencies, buses, subways, community organizations, and businesses, as well as detailed brochures sent home with all students to share with their parents. Brochures have been distributed in multiple languages to accommodate non-English speaking parents. The DOE has also worked very closely with community-based organizations to enlist their support in helping to inform parents of the process across the City.

Applications to serve on the new Education Councils are available on-line and in DOE offices across the City. Parents are encouraged to nominate themselves to serve on the Councils, with parent members being selected by the officers of Parent Associations (PAs) and Parent-Teacher Associations (PTAs). The final selection of Council members will be made in May. The new members will then participate in orientation sessions to prepare them to begin their term on July 1, 2005, and will be offered training opportunities throughout their two-year term of service.

During the process, a series of local candidates’ forums will be held to help ensure that the public has an opportunity to learn more about the parent nominees, and PA and PTA officers will be encouraged to hold membership meetings to get more feedback from the community, before making selections. Unlike during last year’s inaugural implementation of these parent-focused Education Councils, PA and PTA Presidents’ Councils have been invited to host candidate forums as well.

For information on the process, parents should call 311 or the Councils Hotline at (800) 799-3388, log onto www.nycenet.edu/councils , or contact the Parent Coordinator at their child’s school. 

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