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Marathon school panel meeting could get a little shorter

You may not have to bring your pajamas to next week’s Panel for Educational Policy meeting.

Following complaints from the city’s teachers union and a parent council, PEP Chair David Chang will call on the panel to postpone voting on ten changes the Department of Education wants made to the chancellors regulations. A DOE spokesman said Chang will ask for a special mid-February meeting to vote on the regulations.

The changes include controversial measures such as mandating that parent associations communicate with parents via written letters, not email. Another proposed change would give principals final say over school’s Comprehensive Education Plans, which they are supposed to develop with School Leadership Teams through consensus.

Earlier this week, members of the Chancellor’s Parent Advisory Council sent the PEP and Chancellor Klein a letter asking them to postpone a vote on the regulations for two months. Panel members’ agenda is already packed with votes on 20 school closures, changes in procurement policies, and changes in school utilization, wrote council co-chairs Andrea Reid and Nellie Leon.

“With limited time for testimony and even less for public comment on these regulations, the PEP would be unable to do more than what it is often accused of doing — rubberstamping decisions made by DOE.”

Patrick Sullivan and Dmytro Fedkowskyj, the PEP members appointed by the Manhattan and Queens borough presidents, have called for the panel to postpone a vote on the proposed school closures as well. Speaking at a public hearing at Jamaica High School, Fedkowskyj said the panel needed more information about how the closure decisions were made before it could vote.

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