Understanding Community Education Councils — Yours Has a Vacancy You May Be Eligible To Fill


Photo via the Brooklyn School of Inquiry, one of the schools in District 20

As the school year sets into full swing, one lesser known but important part of this community’s education system has a vacancy, and you may be eligible to fill it. The Community Education Council for District 20, representing southwest Brooklyn from the Verrazano Bridge to Borough Park (that’s Bay Ridge, Dyker Heights, Bath Beach, Bensonhurst and the Fort Hamilton Army Base) as well as southern Sunset Park has a vacancy for a parent member.

Do you have a student enrolled in a grade from kindergarten to 8th in a district school? You may be qualified for this unpaid, volunteer position.

Photo via the Brooklyn School of Inquiry, one of the schools in District 20

But first, what is a Community Education Council? While the acronym CEC is not commonly understood, it holds significant weight at area schools. In all, New York City has 32 Community Education Councils (CEC), each overseeing a Community School District’s public elementary, intermediate, and junior high schools. CEC’s have 11 voting members, nine of them being parents of currently enrolled district students — it is one of those nine positions that is currently open. The two additional voting members are borough president-appointed residents and local business operators. A non-voting high school senior who is also a district resident and elected student leader is appointed to each CEC by the community superintendent.

District 20 includes Brooklyn School of Inquiry, which boasts a gifted and talented program that accepts students from across the borough, as well as The Academy of Talented Scholars.

PS/IS192. May 2016 CEC20 meeting. Photo via CEC 20

Community Education Councils, “are charged with promoting student achievement, advising and commenting on educational policies, and providing input to the Chancellor and Panel for Educational Policy on matters of concern to the district,” representatives from CEC 20 described in an email seeking applications for their vacant position.

Additionally, CEC responsibilities include approving zoning lines, holding public hearings on the district’s annual capacity plans, and submitting an annual evaluation of the superintendent to the Chancellor, among other assignments.

Think you’re up for the job? For more information or to obtain an application, call (718) 759-3921 or email [email protected].

The candidate application includes, in addition to requests for basic information, a section to describe any school-related activities you have participated in and a personal statement. It is, however, quite manageable.

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