DOE Launches 2010 Citywide Council Elections – for Parents of ELL and Special Education Students

DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION LAUNCHES 2010 CITYWIDE COUNCIL ELECTIONS

Parents of English Language Learners and Special Education Students Can Nominate Themselves Until March 12, 2010.

 Schools Chancellor Joel I. Klein today launched the 2010 Citywide Education Council Elections. The Department of Education posted applications online for parents interested in serving on the Citywide Council on Special Education (CCSE) or the new Citywide Council on English Language Learners (CCELL); parents can nominate themselves by submitting applications at www.powertotheparents.org  by March 12, 2010.

“Citywide Education Councils represent the interests of parents in education policy and in broad citywide debates about how we can raise student achievement,” Chancellor Klein said. “With the new CCELL, the City is making great strides to involve more parents of English Language Learners in the process. I encourage parents who want to have a role in influencing policy to run for Council seats in this year’s elections.”

“This year, we are asking more parents to get involved in their children’s education and school communities—and becoming a part of Citywide Councils is one of the best ways to do that,” Department of Education Chief Family Engagement Officer Martine Guerrier said.

“More than 40 percent of our students speak a language other than English at home, so it is critical that Department policies reflect families’ thoughts and ideas on how best to drive student achievement. The new CCELL, and the more inclusive makeup of the CCSE, offer two great opportunities for parents to make a difference on a citywide level,” Executive Director for the Office of English Language Learners Angelica Infante said.

Last summer, Governor David Paterson signed a new school governance law that calls for the creation of the CCELL and broadens the composition of the CCSE to include parents or guardians of all students with individualized education programs (IEPs). The CCSE is tasked with advising on services for students with disabilities, and nine of its voting members must be parents of students with IEPs. The CCELL will advise the Department on policy involving bilingual and English as a Second Language (ESL) programs, and nine of its voting members must be parents of students receiving bilingual or ESL services. Two additional voting members on each Council will be appointed by the City’s Public Advocate.

The CCELL and CCSE elections will take place in four phases: •

  •  March 2-12, Nominations: Parents interested in running for a Council seat can nominate themselves by completing an application and disclosure form online at www.powertotheparents.org . Hard copies of the applications are also available by calling the Office of Family Engagement and Advocacy (OFEA) at 212-374-4118, or by picking up an application from OFEA, located at 49 Chambers St., Rm. 503, New York, NY 10007.
  • April 12-26, Meet the Candidates: District and borough parent leaders, along with the Department of Education, will host forums for parents to meet and ask questions of Council candidates.
  • April 26-30, Advisory Vote: Parents will be able to cast advisory votes online at http://www.powertotheparents.org. The advisory vote is open to all parents of ELLs for the CCELL, and to all parents of students with IEPs for the CCSE.
  • May 11-12, Voting Commences: The Presidents’ Council for each community school district, each borough, and D75 will choose one eligible parent to serve as a selector of CCSE members and one to serve as a selector of CCELL members. Elected members will be notified on May 31.

Election materials will be available in nine languages, and translation services will be offered at candidate forums and Council meetings throughout the school year. For more information on Citywide Councils, visit http://www.powertotheparents.org, contact OFEA at 212-374-4118, or call 311

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