Help Wanted: CEC 20 has opening for new member
Bay Ridge education panel accepting applications
The “Help Wanted” ad could read something like this: Seeking member for an important panel working to improve the lives of thousands school children in Southwest Brooklyn. The Community Education Council (CEC) of School District 20 has an opening that it is trying to fill.
The 12-member panel is currently accepting applications from prospective members to fill a seat left vacant with the departure of Mary Ann Ortiz, who recently took a job as a parent coordinator in a school in neighboring District 21.
Parent coordinators are employees of the New York City Department of Education (DOE) and are not eligible to serve as CEC members under New York state education law.
Normally, CEC members are elected by parents of public school students in their districts. The most recent election took place in 2015.
But when a mid-term vacancy pops up, the remaining CEC members get to decide who joins their ranks, according to CEC 20 President Laurie Windsor.
“We’ll be looking at applications and then deciding who the best candidate is,” Windsor told the Brooklyn Eagle on Monday.
Windsor said it’s too early to predict when the CEC will make a final decision. “It depends on how many applications we get,” she said.
Each of the city’s 32 school districts has a CEC. Each CEC has 12 members, nine of whom are elected to their positions and are parents of students attending elementary, intermediate or junior high schools in the district. Two of the members are appointed by borough presidents and must either live in the district or own a business there. The 12th member is a local high school student who is appointed by the district superintendent. The high school student member does not have voting privileges.
CEC 20 oversees public schools in District 20, which takes in all or parts of the Southwest Brooklyn neighborhoods of Bay Ridge, Dyker Heights, Bath Beach, Bensonhurst, Sunset Park and Borough Park.
The U.S. Army Garrison at Fort Hamilton, located in Bay Ridge, also falls within District 20’s zone.
CECs were created by a state education law in 2002 and are charged with promoting student achievement, advising on educational policy and providing input to the schools chancellor and to the city-wide Council for Educational Policy on matters of concern to their districts.
The duties and responsibilities of a CEC as spelled out in the state’s education law include approving the re-zoning of school district lines and submitting an annual evaluation of the district superintendent.
CECs generally hold monthly public meetings.
CEC 20’s headquarters is located at 415 89th St. in Bay Ridge. The panel selects a different school each month for its public meeting so that the sessions are held in all neighborhoods in the district.
For more information on applying for CEC membership, call CEC 20 at 718-759-3921 or email [email protected].
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