Parent engagement

New York

New rule: city can expel too-"aggressive" parents from PTAs

New York

Parent councils sent resolutions on a road to nowhere

Over the course of the last year, an elected parent council passed four resolutions, but the Department of Education never got them. The Community Education Council in District 1 sent each of the resolutions to staff members at the Office of Family Engagement and Advocacy and then waited for a response. For council members, the resolutions, which are non-binding, are their main avenue for talking to the chancellor. Now the Office says that it never received the resolutions because the CEC didn't follow the correct protocol for submitting them. "No resolutions were received from CEC 1 last year," wrote Martine Guerrier, who heads the Office of Family Engagement and Advocacy, in an email to council member Lisa Donlan yesterday. The communication breakdown between the two bodies is not an isolated incident. Several councils said they've never received a single response to the resolutions they've passed, confirming for many members the sense that the city is ignoring them. At the same time, the Office says that parent councils have disregarded the system set up specifically to handle their resolutions. Jim Devor, a member of the CEC in district 15, said he first learned that his council's resolution had been declined when he read it on GothamSchools on July 9. Four days later, the DOE still had not contacted the council with its decision, he said. "Common civility would have dictated a formal reply actually directed to the Council and/or its members," Devor wrote in a strongly worded email to Klein. He added that the lack of response reflected "a thinly veiled contempt" for the council.