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Dad forced to give up seat - Dist. 22 CEC prez resigns as daughter heads to high school

The president of District 21’s Community Education Council (CEC) has resigned – again.

At the council’s recent meeting, Ronald Stewart announced that he will step down from the CEC because his youngest child is graduating from middle school. As per council regulations, members elected under the city Department of Education’s (DOE) application process must have a child in elementary or middle school.

“My daughter is going on to high school so that makes me no longer eligible to be on the council,” Stewart explained.

Stewart was actually the CEC’s first president but resigned after a year as the council dealt with inner turmoil and frustration over its lack of influence with DOE officials.

He was reelected as CEC president in 2007.

In the wake of his second resignation, Stewart actually has a chance to rejoin the CEC for District 21, which advocates for schools in Coney Island and Bensonhurst.

As is the case in all school districts, the borough president appoints two members for each CEC. Those members need not have children currently attending public schools.

Stewart said he’s considering applying for one of these spots. However, he is discouraged by the CEC’s limited power.

“I have a lot of reservations about the CEC,” he said. “Hopefully, in 2009, they will have the new governance under the New York state legislature and hopefully they will give us some real power.”

Whether or not he rejoins the CEC, Stewart says he’ll continue to work as an advocate for local schools and students.

“I will still be active. You will still see me at meetings. I still have children in public schools,” he said.

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