PS 199 on West 70th street has the longest waiting list in the city for Kindergarten spots, and parents with kids on that list have been waiting all summer to find out what will happen for the upcoming school year. On Tuesday, the city Department of Education said it would find room for 12 students at the front of the 94-student wait list, while the remaining students will be placed at other schools in the district, according to DNAinfo. The Kindergarten classes will all get two adults in the room, paid for by the city — a teacher and a paraprofessional.
But those wait listed students won’t be placed at PS 191, the school on West 61st street where district leaders had originally expected the wait listed students to go. That’s because PS 191 was designated last week as a “persistently dangerous” school by the state Department of Education, one of only two schools in Manhattan to receive that designation. There were 97 disruptive incidents in the 2013-2014 year, including 21 involving weapons. Kids in schools that are rated as dangerous can transfer to other nearby schools.
Local education officials had hoped that more of the wait listed students would attend PS 191, in part to help desegregate the district. PS 191 students whose students are predominantly minorities, while PS 199 is majority white. District officials, including parent group (CEC3) president Joe Fiordaliso, say the state designated PS 191 as dangerous in error and they plan to challenge the designation.
Fiordaliso and PS 199 parent leaders have been resisting letting more wait listed students into PS 199, because they say the school is already overcrowded. “They’re jamming even more kids into a school that’s severely overcrowded,” said Fiordaliso of the DOE’s decision to add the 12 seats.
We covered a contentious meeting about this issue a couple of months ago.