Parents Still Feel Powerless in Community Education Councils

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Abolishing the city's community school boards hasn't helped empower parents in the system, according to one new study. WNYC's Beth Fertig has more.

REPORTER: The old school boards were criticized for their cronyism. And there was little voter turnout during elections. When Mayor Bloomberg took over the school system in 2002 he replaced the boards with Community Education Councils composed of parents.

But a study of the Manhattan councils, by Borough President Scott Stringer, finds most of council members weren't trained properly by the education department and don't know their duties. Ronald Prattis, of District 4's council, says he sees that every day among his fellow members.

PRATTIS: They feel powerless and they feel that their cries are falling on deaf ears.

REPORTER: The Department of Education says it has been training parents about the new system, but says it's also looking at suggestions raised in the report.