Amid contentious school redistricting plans, enrollment rules face new scrutiny

City allows students to attend a P.S. even if their parents have since moved from district
October 30, 2012 02:15PM

A city-wide rule that allows New York City schoolchildren to remain at a public school even if their family has since moved from the district is under renewed scrutiny, amid a Department of Education plan to rezone Park Slope public schools, the New York Times reported.

The redistricting is reportedly an attempt to ease the overcrowding at the popular and well-regarded P.S. 321 and  P.S. 107. Under the DOE plan, the zones for those schools — thought to be a big neighborhood draw for young families — would be reduced by about 10 city blocks and five city blocks, respectively.

Parents in portions of Park Slope slated to be redistricted told the Times that they had bought their home precisely because they wanted their children to attend the school for which it was districted. Now the slots that were to have gone to their kids are being cut to accommodate families who no longer live locally.

“They’re safe,” Leslie Uretsky, whose two young children would be zoned out of P.S. 321 and into a new planned public school nearby, told the Times. “My daughters would be an experiment.”

Some locals are accusing New York parents of moving to the neighborhood without the intention of living there for much longer than the time it takes to enroll their children at P.S. 321 — and then quickly leaving for less pricey zip codes.

As previously reported, some Park Slope residents are worried that being zoned out of P.S. 321 would negatively impact their property values.  Due to concerns over Fair Housing Laws, New York real estate agents are discouraged from talking about school districts in the course of their work, The Real Deal has noted.  [NYT] —Gabrielle Birkner