Straw Vote Gives Council Parents Advisory Role

Parents of New York City public school students have until Wednesday to cast their votes in a straw poll for Community Education Councils. But as WNYC's Beth Fertig reports, the votes are not binding.

REPORTER: The city's 32 local districts each have a Community Education Council, responsible for approving any zoning changes when schools open and close. The councils consist of nine elected parents. Under state law, only parent association officers can vote, but this year the city opened the process with a straw poll so all other parents to cast advisory votes.

NARRATOR: This spring NY will hold the first entirely online public election in US history.

REPORTER: The city says 10,000 parents have already voted through the web site "Power to the Parents", which produced this ad. But six of the 32 local districts, and a council for parents of special education students, don't have enough candidates to fill their seats. Many parents say that's because the councils don't have enough power. For WNYC I'm Beth Fertig.