Frequently Asked Questions
How many Community Education Councils are there and whom do they represent?
There are 32 Community Education Councils (CECs) in New York City, one for each school district supervised by a Community Superintendent. Each CEC represents parents of students in Pre-K through 8th grade in DOE schools within its district.
How many Citywide Education Councils are there and whom do they represent?
There are 4 Citywide Education Councils:
- The Citywide Council on High Schools (CCHS) represents parents of students in grades 9 through 12 in DOE schools throughout NYC (about 315,000).
- The Citywide Council on English Language Learners (CCELL) represents parents of 147,000 students in DOE schools who were tested and placed in an English as a New Language, Transitional Bilingual Education or Dual Language program because they need assistance learning English (about 147,000).
- The Citywide Council on Special Education (CCSE) represents the parents of students who have an Individualized Education Program and receive services from the DOE even if they attend a charter, parochial or private school (about 218,000).
- The Citywide Council for District 75 (CCD75) represents the parents of students who require the more specialized services provided in DOE’s special district for students with disabilities (about 26,000).
Do CECs or any of the Citywide Education Councils represent parents of students in charter or private schools?
The CECs and the Citywide Education Councils represent only students in schools run by the NYC DOE. The only exception is the Citywide Council on Special Education (CCSE), which represents students in any educational setting as long as the special education services are paid for by the DOE.
How can I find out more about the Education Councils?
You can also visit their websites or speak to current members by contacting the council office.
How are Education Councils different from PA/PTAs?
PA/PTAs are subject to Chancellor’s Regulation A-660, whereas the powers and duties of the Education Councils are specified in NY State Education Law §2590.
Community Education Councils:
- Review the district’s educational programs and assess their effect on student achievement.
- Hold at least one public meeting per month with the superintendent, during which the public may speak so that parents and the community have a voice and a public forum to air their concerns.
- Submit an annual evaluation of the superintendent to the Chancellor.
- Provide input to the Chancellor and the Panel for Educational Policy on district concerns.
- Serve as liaisons to School Leadership Teams.
- Approve zoning lines as submitted by the superintendent.
- Hold public hearings on the district’s capital needs and submit a plan to the Chancellor.
- Hold a Town Hall with the Chancellor.
Citywide Education Councils:
- Hold at least one public meeting per month open to the public during which the public may discuss issues facing high schools (CCHS), English Language Learners (CCELL), and students with disabilities (CCSE and CCD75).
- Advise and comment on educational policies that involve the student communities they represent.
- Issue an annual report on the effectiveness of the NYC Department of Education in providing services to the represented student communities.
Attend a meeting to see how councils carry out these responsibilities.
How can I find out which meeting to attend?
Please view the schedule of all Education Council meetings . You can choose to attend only the meetings of the councils you will be voting for (your local CEC or CCHS, depending on your children’s grade level, and/or CCSE, CCELL or CCD75, depending on your children’s program) but any meeting that’s convenient for you to attend will give you an idea of what the Education Councils do.
Do I need to get permission or register to attend an Education Council meeting?
No. All Education Council meetings are open to the public under NYS Open Meetings Law.
How long are Education Council meetings?
Education Council meetings can be long, but don’t have to stay for the entire meeting. You can get a good idea of what the council does and what’s going on in the district from the superintendents’ report as well as the discussion of any resolution that might be on the agenda. Additionally, councils often bring in speakers to present on DOE initiatives and topics of interest to parents and the community.