Beth Fertig is the contributing editor for education, covering the New York City public school system for WNYC on air and online at SchoolBook.org. She has covered education in the city for more than 15 years. Beth is the author of Why cant u teach me 2 read? Three Students and a Mayor Put Our Schools to the Test (FSG Books) which grew out of a radio series on the low graduation rate for special education students. Follow her @bethfertig.
Community Education Councils Attract Low Interest
Tuesday, April 26, 2011
Despite the city's push to recruit more candidates, a little more than 500 parents applied to run for 325 seats on Community Dducation Councils — that's about the same low level as the last elections two years ago.
Community Education Councils vote on zoning changes and serve as liaisons between the schools and the department of education. District 32 in Brooklyn attracted the fewest number of candidates: just five, which is not even enough for a quorum.
Six other districts fell short of the nine candidates they need for a full slate. (Two more seats in every local district are appointed by the borough presidents)
District 1 in Lower Manhattan attracted the most candidates, with 44. In contrast, four citywide councils — representing parents of high schoolers, English Language Learners and different special education students — all drew enough candidates to fill their slates. A total of 77 parents applied for the 10 seats on the high school panel.
The Department of Education said it will work with school-based PTAs to recruit more candidates in the months ahead for those councils that are still running short. Parents can choose which candidates they like starting next week. Their votes are considered advisory, because the final selection is made later in May by PTA officers within each council.