New York, NY – The number of children from each neighborhood who apply to attend a particular school, the number of seats available at each school, how many offers of admission were made, and total enrollment in all public schools would be counted under a new bill from Council Member Ben Kallos. The legislation will be heard in a February 28, 2017 hearing of the Committee on Education titled “School Planning and Siting for New Capacity.”
The reporting required under the legislation will show the current geographic diversity in NYC schools, whether there are sufficient numbers of school seats in each neighborhood, and how many children are being turned away from the public school system because the City lacks the capacity to allow children to attend school in the neighborhood in which they live.
In 2015, 54% of would-be pre-kindergarteners on the Upper East Side were not offered school seats in their zip codes, according to records obtained by Council Member Kallos. In 2016, in School District 2, which spans from the Financial District to the Upper East Side, 1,696 preschoolers took the Gifted and Talented exam, 838 of whom were deemed eligible for the program, and 652 applied. However, according to Department of Education, only 346 received offers, leaving 47% of applicants, a total of 306 preschoolers, without access to the coveted program. The data for these two programs indicates a larger problem which extends to general enrollment and the legislation seeks the data needed to enact changes.
“The fact is we need more school seats. The Department of Education is setting our children up for failure by refusing to admit there is a current need for school seats and refusing to build the schools we need in a growing city,” said Council Member Ben Kallos. “The Mayor’s promise of ‘Pre-Kindergarten for All’ must include enough seats in every neighborhood, including the Upper East Side. Parents in my district are giving up on our public schools and with it our government, and parents who can’t afford private school are being forced out."
|54% of 4-year-olds on Upper East Side|
not offered seats in their zip code
|47% of 5-year-olds in School District 2|
turned away from G&T seats