FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Chancellor Porter Kicks Off Voting Period for 2021 Community and Citywide Education Council Elections
Voting period for Community and Citywide Councils opens tomorrow, May 1; For the first time, all NYC parents are eligible to vote
NEW YORK – Schools Chancellor Meisha Porter launches the voting period for the biennial Citywide and Community Education Council elections, which begins tomorrow, May 1. For the first time ever, all parents and legal guardians with a child in a New York City public school can vote for their preferred candidates and take an active part in shaping important decisions in our city. In addition, a record 1,785 parents submitted applications to run for a seat on the councils, up from 1,060 in 2019.
“Nothing is more important than empowering our families to be advocates in their children’s education, and that’s why I’m thrilled to kick off voting for the Education Council elections,” said Schools Chancellor Meisha Porter. “This is an unprecedented opportunity for all parents to make their voices heard and have a direct hand in choosing the future representatives of our school communities. I encourage all parents and guardians to get involved and vote!”
Parents from every borough applied to play an active role in public education and represent their children and school communities. Of the 1,785 total parents who applied for one or more councils, 1461 applied for their community school district’s CEC – 403 in Brooklyn, 400 in Queens, 266 in the Bronx, 317 in Manhattan and 75 in Staten Island. In addition, 948 parents applied for four Citywide Councils.
"We are excited to be hosting what we hope will be the largest online municipal election in history. Now more than ever, we need parents and caregivers to help re-define the twenty-first century public education experience in New York City,” said Deputy Chancellor Adrienne Austin. “A record-breaking number of parents are running for seats on our Education Councils, which is a call to action for all parents citywide to have their voices heard and get out the vote."
The voting period runs through May 11, and parents and legal guardians can vote for their district councils and citywide councils that serve their students using their NYC Schools Account at schools.nyc.gov/Elections2021. There will also be in-person voting available for families without online access at multiple locations throughout the five boroughs. The results will be posted online in June, and members will take their seats on July 1, 2021.
Over the past month, more than 65 candidate forums were conducted in every district to provide school communities with the opportunity to learn more about the parents running for election. In addition, the DOE launched a multilingual ad campaign in ten languages across the five boroughs to increase family and community engagement, including a robust out-of-home campaign, advertisements in community and ethnic media, and digital marketing, resulting in record parent participation.
Following new legislation passed by the New York State legislature in 2019 and the recommendations of a task force appointed by Mayor Bill de Blasio, the DOE earlier this year announced a series of steps to help make the Education Council election process more equitable and facilitate greater parent empowerment. Previously, voting for Community Education Councils and the Citywide Councils on High Schools and D75 were limited to three mandated PA/PTA officers in each school. Citywide Councils on Special Education and English Language Learners was limited to one person per district, nominated by the Presidents’ Council.
Now, parents and guardians across the city are eligible to not only run for a Council seat, but also vote for their preferred members. Votes will be dependent on the number of students a family has enrolled in New York City public schools and if they are part of a special population represented by a Citywide Council. For example, a family with one child with an Individualized Educational Program (IEP) can cast one vote in their Community Educational Council (CEC) election and one vote in the Citywide Council on Special Education election (CCSE). This will ensure every student is fairly represented and each child’s unique needs are factored into the make-up of our parent Councils.
Community Education Councils (CEC)
The CECs work closely with the district superintendents, approve school zoning lines, hold hearings on the capital plan, and provide input on instructional and policy issues. Each CEC has nine members who are, or were at the time of election, parents of students in grades Pre-K-8 in district schools, and two Borough President appointees.
Citywide Council on High Schools (CCHS)
The CCHS advises on education policy and issues involving high school students. The CCHS has 10 elected members, two from each borough, who must be the parents of students currently attending a public high school. Three members are appointed.
Citywide Council on English Language Learners (CCELL)
The CCELL advises on education policy and issues involving students in dual language or English as a New Language (ENL) programs. The CCELL has nine elected members, who must be parents of students currently or recently classified by the DOE as English Language Learners. Two members are appointed.
Citywide Council on Special Education (CCSE)
The CCSE advises on education policy and services for students with disabilities. The CCSE has nine elected members, who must be parents of students receiving special education services paid for by the DOE. Two members are appointed.
Citywide Council for District 75 (CCD75)
The CCD75 advises on education policy and services for students with disabilities who attend a D75 program. The CCD75 has nine elected members, who must be parents of students in a D75 program. Two members are appointed.
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