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Frustration about District 18

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School District 18’s Community Education Council (CEC) is struggling to cope with member absences and council vacancies.

“It’s necessary to have parent volunteers because without six parents we can’t function,” explained CEC President James Dandridge.

At many of the council’s monthly meetings, the CEC has struggled to begin the sessions due to members’ lateness or absence. Without six of the 11 members present, the CEC lacks a quorum and is unable to hold an “official” meeting. In such instances, the CEC opted to hold “information sessions,” which prohibit the council from taking any official action, such as passing resolutions.

At the CEC’s October general meeting, the forum began 20 minutes late because only five members were present at the scheduled start time.

There is currently one vacancy on the CEC. Council members believe that if the seat is filled, they will be more likely to have a quorum at meetings.

“One of the members has sent in a letter of resignation,” Dandridge explained.

“We do have a vacancy,” he continued. “We’re looking to have that position filled in 30 - 60 days.”

The CEC is now asking parents to apply for the open seat.

Council members are required to attend a monthly meeting, during which issues affecting schools in Canarsie and East Flatbush are discussed. District 18’s community superintendent is present at the meetings to answer parents’ questions about school matters and provide information about new city Department of Education (DOE) policies and procedures.

Council members also play a role in refiguring zoning lines, which determine what schools children attend.

CEC spots are not open to parents currently serving on a Parent-Teacher Association (PTA) or School Leadership Team (SLT).

To obtain an application to join District 18’s CEC, contact the council at 718-566-6037 or e-mail

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