Beth Fertig is WNYC’s Contributing Editor for Education. She previously covered politics, which included City Hall during the Giuliani administration, and the U.S. Senate campaigns of Charles Schumer and Hillary Clinton. She also covered transportation and infrastructure.
City Still Negotiating Over Extension of Ed Council Elections
Wednesday, May 11, 2011
City parents can't resume voting just yet in the trouble-plagued community education council elections.
The department of education is still negotiating with a group of parents over how to extend the voting process. Parents had until Saturday, May 7, to vote in an online straw poll for their preferred council candidates. PTA officers were to consider their input when selecting candidates in a final round of elections that was to start Tuesday, May 10.
But on Monday, the chancellor postponed that last phase of the elections for a week following complaints about confusion and trouble voting online in the first round. A group called the New York City Parents Union was about to go to court that day to stop the elections. The parent group and department of education officials then met on Tuesday to negotiate how to let parents resume voting in the straw poll phase that ended on Saturday.
Community education councils replaced the old school boards when the mayor gained control of the school system in 2002. Parents have complained that they have limited powers, which is why few candidates run for office and vote. But the councils can approve zoning changes to schools and also serve as liaisons between the schools and the education department.