NEW YORK – Chancellor Fariña today announced that 1,290 parents have submitted applications to run for Citywide and Community Education Councils, up from 729 in 2013, 511 in 2011, and 576 in 2009. The second step of the election process kicks off today, with the first of 46 candidate forums over the next month taking place across the five boroughs in every school district.
“Parents are partners in education and our tremendous citywide effort to reach parents and raise awareness of these leadership roles has paid off,” said New York City Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña. “We aim to develop high-functioning Education Councils with a robust parent voice – a key piece to improving our schools and strengthening communities. Strong Education Councils contribute to the development of education policies that promote student achievement and collaborative learning environments.”
Parents from every borough applied to play an active role in public education and represent their children and school communities. Of the 1,290 total parents who applied, 873 applied for their community school district’s CEC – 290 in Brooklyn, 191 in Queens, 185 in the Bronx, 180 in Manhattan and 27 in Staten Island. In addition, 417 parents applied for four Citywide Councils.
The DOE launched a multi-lingual ad campaign in subway and ethnic and community publications across the five boroughs to increase parent and community engagement, encouraging parents to “Raise Your Hand” for the City’s children. In addition, over 100 presentations and information sessions were conducted, including nine in collaboration with the offices of the five Borough Presidents.
As a result, there has been a 77% increase in parent participation compared to 2013, when 729 parents applied, a 152% jump in comparison to 2011, when 511 parents applied, and a 124% rise in comparison to 2009, when 576 parents applied.
“We are very encouraged by the increase in parent participation in this process. We want our council members to reflect the diversity of our student population and City,” said Jesse Mojica, Executive Director of the Division of Family and Community Engagement. “This is a great opportunity for parents to make grass-roots level impact in their school districts and beyond.”
This week, the Department will begin conducting a series of local candidate forums in every district to ensure that the public has the opportunity to learn more about the parent applicants seeking to represent them. Parents may obtain location details of candidate forums by calling 311. Interpretation services will be available at each candidate forum.
Parents serve two-year terms on 36 Councils throughout the City, which include 32 district councils and four citywide councils, one each for High Schools, English Language Learners, Special Education and District 75. The 32 district CECs are responsible for approving school zoning lines, holding hearings on the Capital Plan, and providing additional input on important policy issues. Citywide Councils evaluate and advise on school policy concerning their areas of focus.
Elected parents will receive training and leadership development sessions, ensuring they are able to use their positions effectively to make their voices heard, advocate for students, and form functional Councils.
March 18 - April 18 – District and borough parent leaders, along with the DOE, host forums for parents to meet and ask questions of Education Council candidates.
April 19 - May 8 – Presidents, Treasurers, and Recording Secretaries of Parent Associations and Parent-Teacher Associations vote online for the new Community and Citywide Education Council Members for the 2015-2017 term.
May 12 – Election results are published.
July 1 – Elected and appointed Community and Citywide Education Council Members for the 2015-2017 term take office.