Community and Citywide Education Council Elections

The 2011 Community and Citywide Education Council selection process has concluded. Congratulations to all of the newly appointed members. The final results of the elections are posted at http://powertotheparents.org/selector_results.html.

Thank you again for your participation and support during the Community and Citywide Education Council Elections.



General Information

What is a Community Education Council?

Community Education Councils (CECs) are education policy advisory bodies responsible for reviewing and evaluating schools’ instructional programs, approving zoning lines, and advising the Chancellor. CECs play an essential role in shaping education policies for the New York City public schools. Each CEC consists of nine elected parent volunteers who provide hands-on leadership and support for their community's public schools. Council members hold meetings at least every month with the superintendent and public at-large to discuss the current state of the schools in the district.

How many Community Education Councils are there?

There are 32 Community Education Councils (CECs) in New York City. Each CEC covers a Community School District that includes public elementary, intermediate, and junior high schools.

What is a Citywide Education Council?

Citywide Education Councils are education policy advisory bodies that represent the interests of high school students (the Citywide Council on High Schools), English Language Learners (the Citywide Council on English Language Learners), and special education students (the Citywide Council on Special Education and the District 75 Council). These Councils are responsible for advising and commenting on educational policies that involve the student communities represented by the Councils, issuing an annual report on the effectiveness of the city district in providing services to the represented student communities, and holding at least one meeting per month open to the public during which the public may discuss issues facing the represented student communities.

How many Citywide Councils are there?

There are four Citywide Education Councils. These are the Citywide Council on High Schools (CCHS), the Citywide Council on English Language Learners (CCELL), the Citywide Council on Special Education (CCSE) and the District 75 Council (D75 Council).

Who makes up these Councils?

Community Education Councils: Nine (9) elected parent leaders who each have a child currently attending a public school in the district, or who attended a public school in the district within the preceding two years. At least one parent on the CEC must be the parent of an ELL student, and at least one must be the parent of a student with an IEP;
Two (2) residents and/or local business owners appointed by the borough president; and
One (1) non-voting high school senior who lives in the district and is an elected leader at his or her school.

Citywide Council on High Schools: Ten (10) elected parent leaders (two from each borough, with children who attend high school in the borough that the parent represents);
One (1) member appointed by the Citywide Council on Special Education;
One (1) member appointed by the Citywide Council on English Language Learners;
One (1) member appointed by the Public Advocate; and
One (1) non-voting high school senior who is an elected leader at his or her school.

Citywide Council on English Language Learners: Nine (9) elected parent leaders who have a child enrolled in an English Language Learner (ELL) program;
Two (2) individuals appointed by the Public Advocate who have experience and/or knowledge in the education of English language learners; and
One (1) non-voting high school senior receiving English Language Learner services.

Citywide Council on Special Education: Nine (9) elected parent leaders who have a child with an Individualized Education Program (IEP);
Two (2) individuals appointed by the Public Advocate who have experience and/or knowledge in the areas of educating, training or employing individuals with handicapping conditions; and
One (1) non-voting high school senior receiving special education services.

District 75 Council: Nine (9) elected parent leaders who have a child attending a District 75 school;
Two (2) individuals appointed by the Public Advocate who have experience and/or knowledge in the areas of educating, training or employing individuals with handicapping conditions; and
One (1) non-voting high school senior attending a District 75 school.

How can I find my Community Education Council?

There is a Community Education Council (CEC) for each of the city’s 32 school districts. CECs have office locations in each of the 32 districts they represent. The four Citywide Councils have office locations in Long Island City. Information regarding school districts and Council contact information is available online at schools.nyc.gov.

Eligibility

Who may serve on these Councils?
  • For Community Education Councils (CECs) – Parents are eligible to serve on the CEC for their local community school district if their child is currently in grades K-8 at a school under the jurisdiction of the community school district, or if their child was in grades K-8 at a school under the jurisdiction of the community school district within the past two years.
  • For Citywide Council on High Schools (CCHS) – Parents of public high school students are eligible to serve on the CCHS as representatives of the borough in which their child attends school.
  • For Citywide Council on English Language Learners (CCELL) – Parents of public school students who have a child enrolled in an English Language Learner program are eligible to serve on the CCELL.
  • For Citywide Council on Special Education (CCSE) – Parents of public school students who have an IEP are eligible to serve on the CCSE.
  • For District 75 Council (D75 Council) – Parents of public school students who attend a District 75 school are eligible to serve on the D75 Council.
  • Under recently amended regulations, PA/PTA Presidents and officers are now eligible to run for election to the CECs and Citywide Councils.
  • Parents may only serve on one Council.
Who cannot serve on these Councils?
  • Persons holding elective public office or elective or appointed party positions (except delegate or alternative delegate to a national, state, judicial, or other party convention, or member of a county committee);
  • Current DOE employees;
  • Persons who have been convicted of a felony;
  • Persons who have been removed from a Community School Board, Community Education Council, the Citywide Council on Special Education, or the Citywide Council on High Schools for an act of malfeasance or conviction of a crime that is directly related to his or her service on one of the councils;
  • Persons who are serving on another CEC, the CCHS, CCELL, CCSE or the D75 Council;
  • Persons who have a financial conflict of interest, as determined by the DOE Ethics Officer or another designee of the Chancellor based on the Conflicts of Interest Law of the City of New York; and
  • Persons who have been removed from a PA/PTA, School Leadership Team (SLT), District President’s Council, Borough High School Council, or Title 1 Committee for an act of malfeasance or conviction of a crime that is directly related to his or her service on a council.
My child attends a charter school, may I serve on a Council?

Parents whose children currently attend a private or charter school are not eligible to run for a seat on a CEC or Citywide Council, unless their child attended a public school under the jurisdiction of the community school district within the preceding two years. However, parents of private and/or charter school students are potentially eligible to serve on a CEC or Citywide Council as appointees of the Borough President (in the case of a CEC) or the Public Advocate (in the case of a Citywide Council).

Applying

How do I apply to serve on a Council?

Eligible parents can apply to serve on one Council by completing a short application form online at powertotheparents.org.

When are applications due?

By midnight on April 22nd, 2011.

How long does it take to complete the Council application form?

The total amount of time to complete the Council application form is estimated at 25-30 minutes.

Can I apply to serve on more than one Council?

Yes, interested parents can apply to serve on more than one council.

What if I’m elected to serve on multiple Councils?

Parents applying to serve on multiple Councils must rank each Council they would like to serve on in the order of preference. In the event that a parent is elected to serve on multiple Councils, the parent will be assigned to serve on the Council which the parent ranked the highest from among the Councils to which the parent is elected.

In addition to applying to be candidates, are there other ways for parents to be involved with the selection process for the Councils?

Yes, there are a variety of ways for parents to participate. You can help recruit other candidates to apply for the Councils; attend and ask questions of the candidates during Candidate Forums in late March/early April; help campaign for the candidates you support; and cast your vote during the online advisory vote May 1st – May 7th.

Are all candidates required to attend the Candidate Forum in their district?

No. However, candidates are strongly encouraged to attend. The forums provide an opportunity for candidates to engage parents directly and express why they believe they should be selected to serve on a council.

CEC and Citywide Education Council Elections

How will parent members of the CECs and Citywide Education Councils be selected?

For CECs – Parent members are selected through a two-step election process. First, an advisory vote of all parents in the community school district will be held from May 18th – May 25th. Then, the official vote will be held from May 27th – June 3rd, in which the PA/PTA President, Secretary, and Treasurer (or their designee) – collectively referred to as “Parent Selectors” – for every school in the community school district will be eligible to cast votes.

For the CCHS – Parent members are selected through a two-step election process. First, an advisory vote of all high school parents will be held from May 18th – May 25th. Then the official vote will be held from May 27th – June 3rd, in which the PA/PTA President, Secretary, and Treasurer (or their designee) – collectively referred to as “Parent Selectors” - for every high school in each borough will be eligible to cast votes.

For the CCELL – Parent members are selected through a two-step election process. First, an advisory vote open to all parents of ELL students will be held from May 18th – May 25th. Then, the official vote will be held from May 27th – June 3rd, in which the Presidents’ Council for each community school district, borough and District 75 shall each select one parent of an ELL student from among its members to serve as a selector for the CCELL election. If there is no eligible parent of an ELL student serving on the Presidents’ Council, then the Presidents’ Council shall solicit parents of ELL students from its district or borough to volunteer to serve as a selector for the CCELL election.

For the CCSE – Parent members are selected through a two-step election process. First, an advisory vote open to all parents of students with an IEP will be held from May 18th – May 25th. Then the official vote will be held from May 27th – June 3rd, in which the Presidents’ Council for each community school district, borough and District 75 shall each select one parent of a student with an IEP from among its members to serve as a selector for the CCSE election. If there is no eligible parent of a student with an IEP serving on the Presidents’ Council, then the Presidents’ Council shall solicit parents of students with an IEP from its district or borough to volunteer to serve as a selector for the CCSE election.

For the D75 Council – Parent members are selected through a two-step election process. First, an advisory vote open to all District 75 parents will be held from May 18th – May 25th. Then the official vote will be held from May 27th – June 3rd, in which the PA/PTA President, Secretary, and Treasurer (or their designee) – collectively referred to as “Parent Selectors” - for every District 75 school will be eligible to cast votes.

Where do I need to go to cast my vote?

Votes can be cast online at powertotheparents.org

Can all parents vote in the CEC and the Citywide Education Council elections?

Yes, all parents who have a child enrolled in a New York City Public School are eligible to vote in the online advisory vote which will be held from May 18th – May 25th.

I’m married, can both my spouse and I vote in the advisory vote?

No, only one parent per child may vote in the advisory vote.

I have children in different public schools, where should I vote?

A parent is eligible to vote in each school/district that their child attends. However, if you have more than one child in one school you may only vote once in that CEC advisory vote.

How and when will I be notified about the outcome of the election?

The results will be certified by the election vendor and made available online in late May/early June 2011.

What happens if the Parent Selectors in my district choose to elect different candidates than those preferred by parents in the advisory vote? Is there an appeal process?

The advisory vote is not binding and there is no appeal process. However the Parent Selectors are expected to take the results of the parents’ advisory vote into serious consideration.

My PA/PTA has co-officers (Co-Presidents, Co-Treasurers, Co-Secretaries). Can each co-officer serve as a Parent Selector?

No. In cases where a PA/PTA has Co-Presidents, Co-Treasurers and/or Co-Secretaries, the remaining members of the PA/PTA executive board must decide which one of the co-officers will serve as the Parent Selector for each position where a co-officer exists. This decision must be communicated to the Office of Family Information and Action by May 1st.

The President, Treasurer and/or Secretary of my PA/PTA are running for a seat on a CEC or Citywide Education Council. Can they serve as Parent Selectors?

No. PA/PTA Presidents and officers who are candidates in the CEC or Citywide Education Council elections are not eligible to cast votes as Parent Selectors. In such cases, the PA/PTA must select a member to vote as a Parent Selector in place of any President, Treasurer or Secretary who is running as a candidate for a Council seat.

Serving

What does a CEC member do?

Council members are expected to:

  • Promote the achievement of education standards and objectives relating to the instruction of students;
  • Participate in training and continuing education programs;
  • Approve zoning lines as submitted by the superintendent;
  • Review the district’s educational programs and assess their effect on student achievement;
  • Hold meetings at least every month with the superintendent and public at-large to discuss the current state of the schools in the district;
  • Liaison with and provide assistance to School Leadership Teams (SLTs);
  • Complete an Annual Financial Disclosure form;
  • Consult on the selection of a community superintendent;
  • Advise the chancellor and the city board of district concerns.
What does a Citywide Council member do?

Citywide Council members are expected to:

  • Advise and comment on educational or instructional policies involving;
    • For CCHS – students in high school;
    • For CCELL – bilingual or English as a second language programs;
    • For CCSE – provisions of services for students with disabilities;
    • For the D75 Council – provisions of District 75 services.
  • Issue an annual report on the effectiveness of the city district in providing services to the student community represented by the Council;
  • Hold at least one meeting per month open to the public during which the public may discuss issues facing the student community represented by the Council.
What kind of time commitment would I be making as a Council member?

Councils are expected to attend monthly meetings with the superintendent and the public. In addition, members are strongly encouraged to participate in school visits and public forums where they can become better informed about issues faced by students in the New York City public schools.

Is attendance at monthly meetings mandatory?

Yes. If a council member has more than three unexcused absences, they officially vacate their seat.

Do Council members get paid?

No, Council members volunteer their services. However, certain expenses may be reimbursed.

When does the term for new Council members begin?

The new term for Council members will officially begin on July 1, 2011.

How long are Council members expected to serve?

The term for Council members is two years.

Will Council members be trained for their role?

Yes, Council members are required to participate in training within the first three months of their term. Trainings are designed to inform members about their powers, functions and duties, as well as the powers of other governing authorities responsible for public education. Additionally, the training sessions serve to acquaint Council members with the structure of the Department of Education and how to access information and resources. Council members are also mandated to participate in continuing education programs that keep them up-to-date on issues affecting public school governance.

How do I get more information on Community and Citywide Education Councils?

Please go to www.powertotheparents.org, contact the Office for Family Information and Action at (212) 374 – 2323 or email at cecselectionprocess@schools.nyc.gov.