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Bronx borough prez sends familiar face to citywide school board

The Panel for Educational Policy has a new Bronx borough representative, and she’ll be a familiar face for many city officials.

Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz, Jr. has appointed Monica Major to the board, Diaz’s office announced today. Major is the current vice president — and former president — of Community Education Council 11, one of the Bronx’s parent committees. She was also a member of the Parent Commission on Mayoral Control, a group that advocated last year for reducing the mayor’s power over the PEP, which acts as the citywide school board.

Major replaces Anna Santos, who has served as the Bronx representative since February 2009. Last year, Santos emerged as one of the city’s most outspoken critics on the board, alongside Manhattan representative Patrick Sullivan. It’s not clear why Santos is leaving.

Major is likely to continue the trend of opposition to many city policies that come up for approval. As part of the Parent Commission on Mayoral Control, Major proposed to reduce the number of mayoral appointees on the panel to three, and add six parent representatives to the board. Instead, the school governance legislation that Albany passed provided for eight mayoral appointees and one from each borough president, effectively guaranteeing that the board will approve city initiatives.

BOROUGH PRESIDENT DIAZ NAMES MONICA MAJOR AS BRONX REP TO PANEL FOR EDUCATION POLICY

Today, Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. announced the appointment of Monica Major as his representative to the Panel for Education Policy (PEP), which holds approval power over the actions of the New York City Department of Education.

A Morris Park resident and lifelong Bronxite, Ms. Major is a former president of the Community Education Council of School District #11 (CEC), and served as its vice president until her appointment to the PEP. Prior to serving on CEC #11, Ms. Major was a member of the Parent Commission on Mayoral Control, a grassroots, parent-led organization that advocated on the issue of school control. In addition to currently serving as a member of the school leadership team at P.S. 121-The Throop School, Ms. Major is a lifelong advocate on education issues.

Prior to being appointed to the PEP, Ms. Major had already worked with Borough President Diaz on issues such as increasing gifted and talented programs, school zoning, and ongoing issues regarding testing and student achievement.

Ms. Major currently works as a software trainer and certified mediator with the New York State Homes and Community Renewal.

“I have known Monica Major to be a fierce advocate for the needs of Bronx children since before I came to Borough Hall, and I am thrilled that she will now be a part of our team. We have a great deal of work to do to improve our borough’s public schools, and I know Monica will be a strong ally to both myself and the 1.4 million residents of the Bronx,” said Borough President Diaz.

“I love advocating for both parents and students, and I look forward to helping our schools move forward and improving the education of children in the Bronx and throughout the City. I am proud to be working with Borough President Diaz to craft his education agenda, and I look forward to hearing from parents, educators, and the public over the next few months on what can be done to improve our public school system,” said Ms. Major.

Ms. Major replaces Anna Santos, who stepped down from the PEP this week after having served admirably in that position since February 2009.

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