Chancellor Fariña announced that hundreds of parents have been selected to serve on the 36 Citywide and Community Education Councils, where 325 seats were up for election. This year’s “Raise Your Hand” campaign was met with an outpouring of enthusiasm from parents across each borough who applied to play an active role in public education and represent their school communities.
Hundreds of parents selected to serve on 36 Citywide and Community Education Councils, 2,297 parent selectors voted – a 60% increase from 2013, and 1,290 parents applied for a CEC seat – up from 729 in 201
“We made clear at the outset that our administration would elevate and empower public school parents as never before, and that’s precisely what we’re seeing in these elections. Sixty percent more parent leaders voted, and hundreds more parents ran for seats on Community Education Councils. That’s a testament not only to our increased outreach to parents, but to the increased value we have put on parent voices in making school decisions,” said New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio. “This is a more inclusive and more responsive school system because we believe that parents are partners in educating our young people and driving our system forward.”
Participation increased across the board, as more parents ran for the Councils and more parent leaders voted to elect them than in past elections. In total, 1,290 parents applied to run for Citywide and Community Education Councils, up from 729 in 2013, 511 in 2011, and 576 in 2009, and 60% more parent leaders voted for their preferred candidate – 2,297 compared to 1,433 in 2013. The results are posted at NYCParentLeaders.org.
“Congratulations to the hundreds of parents selected to serve on Education Councils – a major step in becoming transformative leaders in their communities,” said New York City Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña. “I have enjoyed attending town halls across the City and I look forward to working with all selected CEC members as we embark on the critical next step of ensuring that they receive quality training to develop a robust parent voice with high-functioning Education Councils – a key part of improving our schools and strengthening communities.”
Earlier this year, 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. In addition, over 55 information sessions and candidate forums were conducted to ensure that the public had the opportunity to learn more about the elections. Nine of the 55 sessions were held in collaboration with the offices of the five Borough Presidents. Interpretation services were available at each candidate forum.
“We are very encouraged by the increase in parent participation in this year’s selection process,” said Jesse Mojica, Executive Director of the Division of Family and Community Engagement. “We are thrilled to have such dedicated and passionate parents serving on the Councils. It is clear they are eager to make grassroots impact in their school districts and beyond.”
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 Councils 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.
“I am excited to serve the community and represent all schools across District 3,” said Nan Eileen Mead, newly elected CEC 3 member. “I plan to spend this term working collaboratively to address parents’ concerns on issues such as diversity and space allocation.”
Parent leaders across the city expressed their excitement for the new class of parent leaders. “I am excited that so many new parents have decided to run this year for leadership positions on CECs and Citywide Councils,” said David Goldsmith, Co-Chair of the Education Council Consortium (ECC). “Those newly elected will join forces with veteran Council members and play a critical role in improving school communities across the City by effectively representing the parent voice in important decision-making processes.”
“Parent involvement was impressive in all aspects of the Education Council elections this year, from the tremendous number of candidates to the strong voter turnout,” said Nancy Northrop, Co-Chair of the Chancellor’s Parent Advisory Council. “These Education Councils can make a tremendous difference in their communities – and they seem to be off to a great start.”
As part of the broader Community and Citywide Education Council selection process, there are 73 appointed seats. Borough Presidents appoint two members to each Community Education Council. They too expressed their enthusiasm for the increase in participation and the CEC members selected today.
“Congratulations to all of the parents in Brooklyn and New York City who answered the call of leadership and are members of our Citywide and Community Education Councils,” said Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams. “Parent engagement is a crucial component to a successful learning experience for our students, and it ensures that the community is properly integrated with the efforts of our schools. I look forward to working with all of our borough’s CEC members in the year ahead, and I hope to see a greater number of parents, including those of our pre-K students, apply for membership next year.”
“Parents’ insight, experience, and energy are crucial to improving our schools, which is why it’s critical they have a seat at the table through our Community Education Councils,” said Manhattan Borough President Gale A. Brewer. “I thank every parent and community member who volunteered to serve on a Manhattan CEC, and am thrilled by this year’s increase in applicants.”
“As a parent myself, I understand the importance of our children having an advocate speaking on their behalf,” said Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. “Parental participation in the educational process is an important component that needs to be emphasized as much as hitting the books, which is why the 2015 Community and Citywide Education Council elections are very important. I congratulate those parents who have become a part of this process and are making sure the voices at the table are diverse and representative of our communities and the needs of our children.”
Limited runoff elections may be required for seats in districts with tied vote counts. The DOE will inform voters of runoff elections for their respective Council and provide details on how to vote online.
For more information about the process visit NYCParentLeaders.org, a key resource for understanding the structure and roles of the Education Councils.