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May 11,2011 Dennis M. Walcott Chancellor New York City Department of Education 52 Chambers Street New York, New York 10007 Dear Chancellor Walcott, As I am certain you are aware, this week I stood with Public Advocate Bill de Blasio, parents, and members of CEC and Citywide Education Councils, to express concerns about the Department of Education’s (DOE) decision to delay parent elections by just one week. While I appreciate tremendously your acknowledgement on Monday that real problems exist in the handling of this year’s elections, I am concerned that one week is simply not enough time for the DOE to resolve the long list of problems that have come to light in recent weeks, and also to conduct substantive outreach to parents. The chaos and confusion surrounding this year’s CEC and Citywide Education Council elections built up over a five month period. To suggest that order can be restored in a single week is less than realistic. That said, there is still some time to address the broad range of issues at hand before the school year ends. I believe the DOE should commit to using every available day between now and July 1 when new members are required by State law to be seated to mitigate the damage that has been done and carry out a new round of elections.
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In the meantime, I would like to request answers to the following questions: • What are the specific strategic steps the DOE plans to implement over the course of the next week to resolve problems associated with incomplete ballots and voter guides? How will the DOE ensure that all parents have access to student OSIS/1D numbers, which right now parents must have to vote?

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What is DOE’s parent outreach strategy to raise awareness about the elections and ensure as fair and democratic election as is possible at this point?

I will also be asking for your participation in a task force that my office is convening, with the Public Advocate, and members of CECs and Citywide Education Councils. This task force will evaluate current supports and training that the Office of Family Information and Action (OFIA) makes available, the election process, the management of issues related to parent inquiries around CECs and Citywide Education Councils, and other relevant issues. I will welcome your response to the issues I have raised in this letter, and look forward to discussing them in,greater detail with you next week. Sincerely

Scott M. Stringer CC: Public Advocate Bill de Blasio All New York City Community Education Councils All New York City Citywide Education Councils

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