New York CIty Council Member Ben Kallos

Council Passes Bill Requiring Department of Education to Report The Number of Children Turned Away from Neighborhood Public Schools

Council Passes Bill Requiring Department of Education to Report The Number of Children Turned Away from Neighborhood Public Schools
Geographic Diversity Would Be Added as Measure for Public Schools
New York, NY – Today the City Council passed legislation forcing the Department of Education to report 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. The legislation authored by Council Member Ben Kallos 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. 
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.
In 2015, more than half of would-be pre-kindergarteners on the Upper East Side were not offered school seats in their zip codes, 429 out of 796 or 54% of applicants, according to records obtained by Council Member Kallos. In 2016 in School District 2, spanning from the Financial District to the Upper East Side, 1,696 preschoolers took the Gifted and Talented exam with 838 eligible, 652 applying and only 346 receiving offers according to Department of Education, turning away 47% of applicants and a total of 306 preschoolers.
“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 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 because their children aren’t guaranteed a seat in the neighborhood and parents who can’t afford a private school are being forced out.”
For each community school district as well as each individual school, the legislation requires specific reporting on the total number of individuals who applied, received offers, and actually enrolled in pre-kindergarten, kindergarten, and sixth grade;


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