Empty seats at District 22 CEC

It was an empty house at last week’s meeting of School District 22’s Community Education Council — but CEC members aren’t mad.

In fact, Michael Benjamin, the council’s first vice president, said it’s understandable if parents can’t find time for the group’s meetings, during which educators offer updates about issues affecting public schools in Mill Basin, Bergen Beach, Manhattan Beach, Marine Park, Gerritsen Beach and parts of Midwood, Flatbush and Sheepshead Bay.

“We encourage parents who may have limited time in their hectic lives to become active and participate in their child’s Parent Association or Parent-Teacher Association,” Benjamin said.

“Due to the fact that parents have limited time with all the other activities that they have during the week, we encourage them to go to PA and PTA meetings,” agreed Christopher Spinelli, the CEC’s president.

If busy parents can’t attend a CEC meeting, local schools’ parent coordinators are often there to step in.

“I personally believe that as long as the parent coordinators are there, information filters back to the individual schools,” Benjamin said. “I’ve even encouraged parents to continue to attend their child’s PA or PTA meetings and not really worry about the CEC meetings because they’re attended by parent coordinators.”

All this doesn’t mean parents aren’t welcome at CEC meetings. Just the opposite.

“We would love to have them,” Spinelli said.