Petition against the DoE's assignment of waitlisted families from one overcrowded community to another
Petition against the DoE's assignment of waitlisted families from one overcrowded community to another.
To: Dennis Walcott - Chancellor; NYC Department of Education
To: Elizabeth Rose – Director; office of Portfolio Development
Background: The Department of Education’s assignment of the entire PS 234 waitlist to PS 130 in Chinatown. The families and the community are appealing this decision based on the following;
1. The DoE was alerted, many times over the past several years, to the numbers of children coming online downtown due to the intentional development of this Community District post 9/11. The DoE denied these claims and as recently as March 2011, saying that we would have enough seats for everyone downtown this coming fall of 2011. Despite persistent letters from Sheldon Silver, The Task Force, Senator Squadron, Councilmember Margaret Chin, the PS 234 Overcrowding committee, resolutions from CECd2 and Community Board One advising the DOE to retain the classrooms at the Tweed courthouse to house our kindergarten overflow, the DoE assigned the rooms, our last elementary appropriate seats downtown, to Innovate Charter middle school instead. In doing so they not only went against the recommendations of all of our elected officials and community leaders, but also one of their own; earlier this year the DoE released a statement saying that they would not open the middle school at Spruce St school as promised, because there was not enough need here for middle school seats at this time, while there was immediate elementary need.
2. In addition, we have learned that PS 130 does not have room for the 28 families. They have an in zone sibling waitlist of 11 and an out of zone sibling waitlist of 5. We learned that the DoE plans to admit our families ahead of their out of zone siblings at that school which we feel is a poor policy destined to create ill will with the PS 130 community (in addition to not being enough to house the resulting class of 35 or more) The school also has a significant end of summer enrollment of in-zone families. Our children’s presence would also disable that enrollment. All in all PS 130 is not a viable option for our children or the children of PS 130.
3. The announcement was also given to these parents well after they would be able to pursue any other viable education options.
In conclusion, we petition the DoE to assume responsibility for this misjudgment and place the waitlisted children somewhere in community district one, either incubated for the Peck Slip school in Spruce St or PS 276. If the DoE cannot enlist that administration before the school year begins, they would be willing to simply move from one school into Tweed after kindergarten, which will not displace any existing students or overcrowd downtown’s already burgeoning classrooms. We would also be amenable to having them distributed over all of the existing kindergarten sections downtown provided it can be done without exceeding acceptable class sizes. While none of these potential solutions are ideal, they clearly surpass the choice the DoE has made in assigning their children to a school that is not only outside of our community district but one that is already full.