Community Education Council elections are stopped; Parents and City Attorneys meet to discuss issues
"We did agree -- and it is public information -- that the election processes for the Community Education Councils, the Citywide Council for English Language Learners, the Citywide Council for Special Education, and the Citywide Council for High Schools are on hold."
May 10, 2011, New York, NY --- Advocates for Justice, on behalf of the New York City Parents Union and six (6) parent petitioners, met this afternoon with attorneys for the City of New York and the New York City Department of Education to discuss the problems plaguing recent elections for the Community Education Councils.
Advocates for Justice President Arthur Z. Schwartz, representing the petitioners, said that "All parties agreed that the discussion and negotiations pertaining to this matter will be kept confidential at this time. However, we did agree -- and it is public information -- that the election processes for the Community Education Councils, the Citywide Council for English Language Learners, the Citywide Council for Special Education, and the Citywide Council for High Schools are on hold. Any information to the contrary is inaccurate."
Community Education Councils and the other citywide education councils replaced Community School Boards when Mayoral control was given to Mayor Bloomberg in 2002. Elections take place every three years. This year, Community Education Council candidates were to submit their names for eligibility review and possible inclusion on the ballots no later than April 22nd. Candidate forums were to take place between April 28th and May 5th. Each parents were then entitled to vote in an "advisory capacity" for candidates running within their child's school district and citywide. Once the advisory elections conclude, a set of "selectors" -- officers from local Parent Associations -- would then vote for the Council members later in May. The selectors could choose to adhere to or ignore the results of the advisory voting. Results of the voting would have been available by the end of May.
Citing numerous problems that undermined the participation in the first phase of the election as well as the fairness of the election itself, the parent petitioners are seeking improvements in the process and a "do-over" of the first phase of voting -- the "advisory" votes. Until the talks are resolved, the lawsuit is on hold.
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