Great news: The city Department of Education may be extending the deadline to apply to be a Community Education Council candidate past Feb. 13, allowing a chance for concerned parents who aren’t in thrall to the United Federation of Teachers to run.
The UFT’s been quietly plotting to grow its power in the 36 CECs (32 districts for K-8th grade schools, plus four citywide ones for high schools, special ed, etc.) to extend its longtime strategy of presenting the unions’ interest as what parents want.
As The Post’s Mia Walsh reported, the UFT last month held a “boot camp” for parents it recruited to run. Leading the session was Shino Tanikawa, an anti-testing radical who wants to ax the city’s Gifted & Talented program.
Those candidates won’t show up on the ballot as UFT pawns, but the UFT-friendly D28 Action for Equity gave away the game when it tweeted “that the UFT selected these people because of their knowledge of what it takes to be a parent leader.” And that “knowledge” translates to the UFT line: anti-excellence, anti-choice, anti-standards, anti-G&T and anti-charter school.
These elections (like past community-school-board ones) are low-turnout affairs that organized special interests can readily dominate. But voting is online (from April 21 to May 9), so ordinary folks can fight back.
They’d better: The UFT opposes any effort by independent parents to have a say in their children’s education, from the curriculum to teacher quality.
Plus, under new rules the Legislature imposed last year at teacher-union behest, CECs wind up choosing five of the 23 members of the Panel for Educational Policy, the board that formally runs the entire public-school system.
So, if independent parents don’t stand up against the UFT in CEC campaigns, the union will have even more power to frustrate Mayor Eric Adams’ “more opportunity for all kids” education-reform agenda.
You can sign up to run at schools.nyc.gov, or ask your school’s Parent Coordinator or Family Leadership Coordinator — or call 311 — for help. Your child’s future is worth the effort.