2007-02-09 / Community

Public School Councils Announce Elections

The Department of Education (DOE) has begun the nomination process for the 2007 Community and Citywide Education Councils (CECs) elections, announced Schools Chancellor Joel I. Klein.

The 32 CECs, successors to the now defunct Community School Boards, along with the Citywide Council on High Schools and the Citywide Council on Special Education, ensure that parents have a hands-on role in the education system, according to Klein.

"Our parent leaders are critical partners in ensuring the success of our schools," said Chancellor Klein. "They provide leadership for their communities and advise me on major policy questions. Their insight into challenges facing our public schools has been invaluable to me and to school leadership teams. Their work with elected officials has helped secure additional resources for schools in their districts."

Council members represent parents and the general public in their districts and play a key role in advising school communities on important policy issues. All councils hold monthly public meetings, sponsor forums on pertinent educational issues, and review the DOE's annual capital plan in order to make recommendations on spending priorities.

CECs help to evaluate their community superintendents and approve zoning changes in their districts.

The Citywide Council on High Schools must also submit an annual report on the state of the city's high schools. Similarly, the Citywide Council on Special Education is responsible for preparing a yearly report reviewing special education services citywide and outlining improvement recommendations.

All parents of New York City public school children are eligible for a two-year term on their local CEC or one of the two citywide councils. Each CEC consists of nine elected parents, two Borough President appointees, and one non-voting high school senior who lives in the district.

The Citywide Council on High Schools includes ten parents and one high school student. Nine parents of students receiving special education services in District 75, two Public Advocate appointees, and one non-voting high school senior in District 75 make up the Citywide Council on Special Education.

The councils' 2007-2009 term begins July 1, 2007. Officers of parent and parent-teacher associations vote in May. Parents can obtain an application, which is due March 9, 2007, by contacting their Parent Coordinator or visiting the councils' website at www.schools.nyc.gov/councils . More information is available by calling 311 or the councils' hotline at 1-800-850-6443.

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