Reform the CDEC election process and composition. Every parent in the district will have a vote, with the possibility of extending this right to all registered voters. Each CDEC will consist of 11 voting members, including one Borough President appointee, 9 members elected by parents, and 1 community resident appointed by the CDEC itself. Though any community resident can run for any of these seats, at least one seat should be reserved for a high school parent; 1 seat for a parent of a child with an IEP, and 1 seat for a parent of an English Language Learner. One seat will be open (but not reserved) for a parent of a charter school student. There will be 2 non-voting high school students elected by their peers from district high schools.
Restore Community School Districts as meaningful entities, and reinstate the rightful responsibilities and authority of District Superintendents. In particular, Superintendents will be required to spend at least 90% of their time within their own districts, supporting and improving instruction in their schools and helping to address parental problems and concerns. In consultation with CDECs and District Presidents Councils, they will help develop the annual capital plan, the district’s class size reduction plan, the Contract for Excellence spending, and the District Comprehensive Education plan.
Assign high schools and 6-12 schools to their respective geographical districts to provide additional opportunity besides the Citywide Council for High Schools for high school parents to have input in policies and planning.
Ensure that the CDECs have the full authority under the law to approve school siting, selection, restructuring, expansion, and reconfiguration of schools, as well as the closing, opening and relocating of all traditional public and charter schools in their districts.
Establish a central role for CDECs in selecting and evaluating the Superintendent. The CDEC will nominate three candidates in consultation with Presidents Councils, from which the Chancellor will choose one.
Foster a meaningful partnership between CDECs and Community Boards. CDECs and Community boards can and should work closely together on issues related to zoning, city budgets, development and school overcrowding. CDECs should also be closely involved in developing the capital plan and be consulted and involved at every step of the process.
Key Recommendations on Community School Districts
You can read and print out a short summary of all our proposals here:
We envision Community School Districts together with Community District Education Councils (CDECs) to be the basic unit of local school governance, to nurture parental and community involvement; make decisions on educational priorities, zoning and enrollment; oversee schools; and facilitate improvement of teaching and learning. For this to occur, the following steps must be taken.