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Statement on Chancellor’s Parent Advisory Council’s Efforts To Undermine Real Parent Power

In the March 3rd issue of The New York Post, parents and other readers learned that members of the Chancellor’s Parent Advisory Council (CPAC) are going to Albany to present four position papers to legislators as part of their Lobby Day activities.  The position papers are entitled “College and Career Readiness”, “School Closings”, “Co-locations” and “Governance”.  The president of each Presidents’ Council and Borough High School Councils, or her/his designee, is a member of CPAC.

Unfortunately, the Governance position paper specifically undermines the New York City Parent Union’s proposed legislation — our legislation.  Bill Number S01406 strips Mayor Bloomberg of four (4) appointees to the Panel on Education Policy (PEP) and, for the first time, the bill calls for the appointment of an “independent” parent organization as well as a Community Education Council member.

In reality, CPAC’s Governance paper states they want the “independent” parent organization listed in our legislative bill to be under the authority of the DOE and subject to Chancellor’s Regulations.  The Chancellor’s Regulations are rules created by the DOE to manage and control the activities of Parent Associations, Presidents Councils and CPAC members.  Therefore, there is no real independent parent representation if all the position that CPAC is taking becomes reality.

CPAC — and its parent members — are subject to the authority of the DOE — a city government agency.  Therefore, both CPAC and its members are subject to the Freedom of Information Law (FOIL).  This means that, like with all city agencies, any and all information, emails, documents, meetings related to work on CPAC is public information that any parent or individual can request to review.

Accordingly, as a way of demonstrating the vulnerability of CPAC and its members, we have filed a detailed Freedom Of Information Law request asking for all meeting minutes, emails, correspondence and documents of all CPAC members related to the drafting of their Lobby Day position papers.

The time has come for real parent power in New York City schools.  This means that neither the DOE nor any other entity determines the agenda of public school parents — parents do.

The New York City Parents Union has worked very hard to empower parents and fight for our children’s rights in our schools.  We take pride in our independence as independent stakeholders, not controlled by the DOE or any other special interests.

We define an “independent” parent organization as one that is founded, led and operated by parents and that operates without support from the DOE.

This important governance legislation — put forth by the Parents Union to empower parents — is part of our broader legislative agenda, including Bill Number S01408 abolishing Chancellor waivers in New York City, and Bill Number S01411 requiring the Board of Regents to meet twice annually within New York City so that parents can finally attend meetings.

Click on hyperlinks for more information and relevant documents.

To learn more about the New York City Parents Union, click here.

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