Parents Sue and DOE stops flawed
Community Education Council elections
"The vote last week was a sham"
May 9, 2011, New York, NY --- Today, Advocates for Justice filed papers on behalf of the New York City Parents Union and six (6) parent petitioners for a temporary restraining order to stop the flawed Community Education Council elections being conducted by the New York City Department of Education. The hearing was scheduled for 7:00 pm this evening before Judge Shirley Heitler, Manhattan Supreme Court. At 6:30 pm, the Department of Education's General Counsel advised the court that they will postpone the selector process voting for one week.
The Department of Education's General Counsel has just requested a meeting with the New York City Parents Union and their General Counsel, Advocates for Justice at 1:00 pm, tomorrow, May 10th.
Parents, community leaders and elected officials have written to complain to the Department of Education regarding their violation of the electoral process mandated in state education law. Parents also pointed out that the Department of Education failed to notify parents of the elections and obstructed the process by requiring parents to have their children's New York City Identification Number to view candidates' information and vote. Most parents had not received the identification numbers from the Department of Education at the time of voting or through the entire week of voting.
Many candidates were also deemed ineligible by the Department of Education, never informed of their ineligibility and unable to reach anyone at the Department of Education. Other parents of "aged out" children and charter parents were eligible to run but unable to access their candidate information or vote.
Arthur Schwartz, Esq., attorney for the parents and President of Advocates for Justice stated, "The school system will only thrive with active, involved, informed parents. The vote last week was a sham. Parents are entitled to make an informed choice through a well-run election so that the makeup of Community District Councils reflects the parent community. It is a shame that it took a lawsuit to get the process stopped. Hopefully, our negotiations over the next few days will bring about a fair, democratic, informed process."
Mona Davids, President of the New York City Parents Union, stated, "For too long, parents have been ignored as the real stakeholders in our children's education. The founding of the New York City Parents Union signals a change and that parents will no longer stand by while our rights are violated and our children are used as pawns in political games. We demand a seat at the table in determining policy and ensuring a quality education for our children."
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