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New boro schools rep to get support from Marshall

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The next Queens educational representative to the new city education board will get strong support from Borough Hall, Queens Borough President Helen Marshall said last week.

Gov. George Pataki signed the historic school governance bill passed by the state Legislature last week. The changes include eliminating the current seven-member Board of Education in favor of a 13-member board which will deal specifically with educational policy, not administrative or operating duties for the city public school system.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who will be able to directly choose the schools chancellor, will appoint seven members to the new board while each of the five borough presidents will select one. The chancellor will chair the new board. A spokesman for the mayor’s office said Monday a name for the new education board has not yet been chosen.

Speaking after a brief appearance at the Queens Women’s Center fund-raiser Friday, Marshall — a former school teacher — said the new board was not expected to have any support staff, regular office space or compensation for expenses from the city. Each borough representative must be a parent with a child or children in city public schools, but the mayor does not face this requirement. according to the new legislation.

“We have pledged to give a space to that person in our offices,” said Marshall, speaking for the city’s five borough presidents who and plan to make similar arrangements for their appointees.

Marshall said these representatives “should get a stipend.”

The borough president praised current Queens Board of Ed representative Terri Thomson, who has been on the board since 1998.

“Terri Thomson has been fantastic,” said Marshall, who has worked with Thomson on school overcrowding and school construction in Queens.

“I wish that some of the mayor’s people would be parents,” said Marshall, who would like both the borough presidents’ and the Bloomberg’s appointees to be selected based on the same criteria.

The city’s 32 community school boards will be eliminated by June 2003 under the new school governance legislation. The state Legislature was expected to form a 20-member commission to hold public hearings over the next year to determine what should the place of the local boards.

Marshall said one of the options being considered to replace local school boards has been a group “modeled like community boards.”

“Each school district would have a group like that,” she said.

There are 59 community boards in the city with up to 50 volunteer members each. Board members are selected from the community and approved by each borough president.

Reach reporter Kathianne Boniello by e-mail at Timesledgr@aol.com or call 229-0300, Ext. 146.

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