Community Education Councils, or CECs, allow for parent involvement on a district-wide level. Responsible for approving school zoning lines and hold hearings on capital plans, they also function as advisory bodies, identifying educational priorities in their districts, evaluating superintendents, advising the Chancellor and the Panel for Educational Policy, and serving as liaisons to School Leadership Teams (SLTs) and Presidents' Councils. In fact, a number of CECs work in tandem with their districts' Presidents' Councils, hosting workshops for parent leaders and parents generally -- on topics such as special education and grant writing. CECs, Presidents' Councils, receive funds that can be used for food during meetings.
There are 32 CECs, one for each of the community school districts. Each has eleven voting members: nine parents of students in elementary, intermediate and/or junior high schools in the district (one must be a parent of a child who receives special education services and one must be a parent of a child who receives ELL services) and two community members who either reside or own or operate a business in the district. A high school senior who lives in the district and is an elected leader at his or her school is a nonvoting member.
Any parent may nominate him/herself to serve on his/her CEC (with some specific exceptions such as elected officials and DOE employees), and parent members are selected by the three mandatory PTA officers (president, treasurer, and recording secretary) of each PA/PTA in the district. The community members are appointed by the Borough President, and the high school senior is appointed by the community superintendent. Parent selections and borough president appointments take place every two years.
CEC meetings, which are held at least every month, are open to the public.