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Chancellor Carranza Kicks Off 2021 Community and Citywide Education Council Elections

  • Posted: Mon Feb 01, 2021 Updated: Fri Feb 05, 2021

Application period for seats on Community and Citywide Councils opens today, February 1; For the first time, all NYC parents are eligible to vote

NEW YORK – Schools Chancellor Richard A. Carranza today announced the biennial Community and Citywide Education Council election, featuring new and major changes that strengthen parent empowerment across every single school district in New York City. Starting today, parents can apply to run for a Council and, for the first time ever, all parents and legal guardians with a child in a New York City public school can vote for their preferred candidates and have a direct hand in shaping important decisions in our city.  

"Parent empowerment is at the center of all we do and now more than ever we need parents to be true partners in their child’s education,” said Schools Chancellor Richard A. Carranza. “Education Councils have a real impact on our children’s lives and this year parents from across the City can cast their vote and have their voices heard.” 

All parents are encouraged to run for council seats as part of the Department of Education’s mission to empower and elevate the voices of all families. Sign-up is simple and parents can go online to learn more about the structure and roles of the Education Councils. This website includes information on eligibility guidelines, key dates, and frequently asked questions. Applications can be submitted online starting today through February 28. All Education Council resources online are available in ten languages. Candidate forums will take place in April, and voting will take place between May 1-11, and the results will be posted online once final. Members will take their seats on July 1, 2021.

"The 2021 Community and Citywide election promises to be the most inclusive election ever held by the New York City Department of Education,” said Acting Deputy Chancellor Adrienne Austin. “Education Councils offer families the opportunity to directly impact public education in New York City, and for the first time, this will be a citywide election open to all families. Today marks the opening day, and we encourage public school parents to learn more and run for a seat on one of these important Councils." 

Following new legislation passed by the New York State legislature in 2019 and the recommendations of a task force appointed by Mayor Bill de Blasio, the DOE recently announced a series of steps to help make the Education Council election process more equitable and facilitate greater parent empowerment. Previously, voting for Community Education Councils and the Citywide Councils on High Schools and D75 were limited to three mandated PA/PTA officers in each school. Citywide Councils on Special Education and English Language Learners was limited to one person per district, nominated by the Presidents’ Council. 

Now, parents and guardians across the city are eligible to not only run for a Council seat, but also vote for their preferred members. Votes will be dependent on the number of students a family has enrolled in New York City public schools and if they are part of a special population represented by a Citywide Council. For example, a family with one child with an Individualized Educational Program (IEP) can cast one vote in their Community Educational Council (CEC) election and one vote in the Citywide Council on Special Education election (CCSE). This will ensure every student is fairly represented and each child’s unique needs are factored into the make-up of our parent Councils. 

The Councils 

Community Education Councils (CEC) 

The CECs work closely with the district superintendents, approve school zoning lines, hold hearings on the capital plan, and provide input on instructional and policy issues. Each CEC has nine members who are, or were at the time of election, parents of students in grades Pre-K-8 in district schools, and two Borough President appointees. 

Citywide Council on High Schools (CCHS) 

The CCHS advises on education policy and issues involving high school students. The CCHS has 10 elected members, two from each borough, who must be the parents of students currently attending a public high school. Three members are appointed. 

Citywide Council on English Language Learners (CCELL) 

The CCELL advises on education policy and issues involving students in dual language  or English as a New Language (ENL) programs. The CCELL has nine elected members, who must be parents of students currently or recently classified by the DOE as English Language Learners. Two members are appointed. 

Citywide Council on Special Education (CCSE) 

The CCSE advises on education policy and services for students with disabilities. The CCSE has nine elected members, who must be parents of students receiving special education services paid for by the DOE. Two members are appointed. 

Citywide Council for District 75 (CCD75) 

The CCD75 advises on education policy and services for students with disabilities who attend a D75 program. The CCD75 has nine elected members, who must be parents of students in a D75 program. Two members are appointed. 

Selection Process Schedule 2021

February 1 – February 28

Apply for an Education Council seat! 

April 5 – April 30 

Virtual candidate forums: Meet the voters and tell them why they should vote for you 

May 1 - May 11 

Parents vote online 

May 14 

Run-off elections  


Election results announced 

July 1  

Members-elect take office