By Jill Colvin
CITY HALL — Public school parents are getting a re-take.
The Department of Education announced late Thursday that it has halted its parent council elections and will start the process all over again.
The announcement comes just three days after Schools Chancellor Dennis Walcott agreed to delay voting for a week following mounting criticism from parents and elected officials who slammed the process as a "debacle," citing names omitted from voter guides, inexcusable delays and eligible moms and dads being told they were not entitled to run.
Officials, including Manhattan Borough Scott Stringer, had said the delay wasn't enough. Walcott announced Thursday that he agreed.
"We place tremendous value on parent involvement in our schools and recognize that we should have done a better job managing the Community and Citywide Education Councils Elections," Walcott said in a statement announcing the change.
General parent voting will now take place from May 18 through May 25. A second round has been pushed back to May 27 through June 3. The results of the prior vote, which had been held from May 1 through May 7 "will be invalidated," the department said.
This time, Stringer said he was "gratified" by the chancellor’s decision.
"We will continue to monitor these new elections over the next few weeks, to ensure that DOE finally gets it right," he said in a statement, adding that he is looking forwarding to hearing specific steps the DOE will take to make this time around better.
He also called on Walcott to convene a task force to examine the election process from beginning to end.
The announcement marks the third time the elections have been delayed. The DOE had previously extended the application deadline for parents interested in running after a lackluster turnout.