Friday, October 30, 2009

No guarantee on local zoning for new high school

From the Daily News:

Many residents hope the nearly 2,000 new seats at the $158 million Metropolitan Avenue Campus will alleviate severe overcrowding in local schools - provided their kids can get in. The campus is to house a locally zoned high school, a combined district middle and high school and a special education program.

A community meeting to discuss the campus, at 90-30 Metropolitan Ave., was held last week. But no decision as to which schools will occupy the state-of-the-art campus will be made until early next year, city education officials said.

"The purpose here was to have a local high school that the kids of the neighborhood could go to," said City Councilwoman Melinda Katz (D-Forest Hills). "There is an overcrowding problem in the area."

But the project has faced several delays, including some initial community opposition and the discovery of contaminated groundwater. That water was removed about two years ago, before construction began, education officials said.

However, the biggest concern has been to ensure that at least one of the high schools is locally zoned, Katz said.

That's a battle she and others are still waging, as zoning lines aren't expected to be finalized until the end of the year. City officials said that a proposed plan will be available for community comment sometime next month.

"I want to make sure the kids we started fighting for are zoned for it," said Community Education Council District 24 President Nick Comaianni, whose district begins across the street from the site.


Anonymous said...

Except the high school/middle school WILL NOT be zoned exclusively for local students. About one-third of the students will come from out of the area and 20% of the students will be special ed students.

No wonder home prices in the immediate area of the high school south of Metropolitan have taken a NOSEDIVE!!!

Anonymous said...

I would like my kids to go to the local high school also, but they, like kids across the city had to fill out an application ranking the twelve high schools they most wanted to go to. For what? Each high school throughout the city should be able to offer its neighborhood a good education with opportunity for students to explore. It is a lot of stress on the student and their families in choosing schools - fairs, open houses, auditions, special exams - nonsense. My kid shouldn't have to travel across the city to attend a great school. This city should be better than that.

Anonymous said...

You're absolutely right; you should have great schools in your neighborhood. The problem is that you don't have the "600 Schools" today that you had years ago to handle the problem students. Those students were mainstreamed into the regular public schools back in the 1970s. That's why the competition has become more intense at the Stuyvesants, the Bronx Sciences, and the Townsend Harrises.