School Officials Listen to Parents, Delay Dumbo School Rezoning Vote

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    In light of the controversy and parent complaints surrounding the rezoning proposal for Dumbo’s P.S. 8 and Vinegar Hill’s P.S. 307, the Department of Education has decided to hold a two-month discussion period before the plan is submitted to Community Education Council 13 for a formal vote.

    Parents and concerned community members will have three new opportunities to air grievances and clarify questions about the rezoning.

    Like last month’s two town halls, one meeting will be geared towards P.S. 8 parents, who are being shifted to P.S. 307, and the other for P.S. 307 parents concerned about the influx of new students. Following the small-group meetings, there will be a third discussion involving groups from both schools, to be overseen by Senior Deputy Chancellor Dorita Gibson and Deputy Chancellor Elizabeth Rose, WNYC reported.

    The vote is likely to take place before the spring, in time for the rezoning to take effect for the 2016-2017 school year.

    The new two-month discussion period is a direct response to a vocal outcry from parents at both schools who say the city intended to implement the change too quickly without proper insight into the effects of the rezoning. Families who would be affected were largely surprised by the proposition when it was announced in August and felt uninformed about its potential impact.

    The ongoing rezoning process has drawn national attention as issues of race, class and gentrification were passionately voiced by locals in last month’s meetings. Hopefully the following two months of discussion will help elucidate the details of the plan so families can help ensure the rezoning preparations suit both communities.

    Two months may be a sufficient time period to get parents used to the rezoning idea, but it certainly won’t be sufficient to solve the deep-seated, underlying tensions regarding race, class, education and urban development in New York.

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    [Source: WNYC | Photo: DOE]

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