2005-04-01 / Community

25 Parents, 8 Locals To Vie For 9 CEC 27 Parent Seats

By Howard Schwach

Despite the fact that many districts are having problems in finding candidates for their Community Education Councils (CEC’s), 25 candidates will soon vie for the nine open seats on CEC 27, the council that impacts on Rockaway and Broad Channel Schools.

District 23, which shares Region Five administration with Rockaway’s schools, for example, has only six members on its education council and has had a problem in signing up candidates for the upcoming election.

In fact, more than half of the 32 councils citywide have fewer than the proscribed number of nine parent members and two members appointed by the Borough President.

Until a quick election a week ago, there were five vacancies on the CEC 27 board.

One ex-board member, who asked not to be identified, told The Wave that he resigned because the CEC “was nothing but a rubber stamp for the Region Five superintendent.”

“If you want to make a difference in your child’s education,” he said, “you are better off as a parent association officer than on the CEC.”

At least 25 people, however, do not agree with that view. The 25, including eight Rockaway residents, have submitted applications for the upcoming election.

The eight, with the school affiliation they listed on their applications, are: Xiomara Amedegndto (PS 42); Tywana Burke (PS 42); Lourdes Castillo (PS 225); Keisha Cunningham (PS 42); Mary Elizabeth Dawson (PS 114); Adrienne Denise Evans (PS 42); Maya Marshall (PS 42) and Matthew Regan (PS 114).

Of that number, only one, Matthew Regan, now sits on the board and is seeking reappointment.

Candidates for the CEC are not chosen in an open election. They are elected by a vote of the president, secretary and treasurer of each of the parent association units in the district.

That vote will take place during the period of May 2 through May 10.

For the first time, the ballots will be counted by the accounting firm of KPM & G.

“We would expect that the results will be known pretty quickly after the election process ends,” said Alicia Maxey, a spokesperson for the Department of Education, who also pointed out there might well be some run-off elections that would take a little longer. The new community councils will be seated July 1, after two weeks of training.

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