When it comes to alleviating school overcrowding, the squeaky wheel gets the grease in New York City.
Earlier this spring, the DOE responded to a rising tide of dissatisfaction and protest in Manhattan’s District 2 by announcing plans for a new elementary school in Greenwich Village and releasing a long-anticipated blueprint for further reducing overcrowding. And this week, Chancellor Klein announced that the DOE will build an annex for the popular PS 8 in Brooklyn Heights. Already, the Brooklyn Paper is reporting that parents and community leaders see the annex, tentatively slated to open in 2011, as a way for PS 8 to expand through the middle school grades, something PS 8 parents have long been seeking. Last month, Chancellor Klein told Brownstoner that no new middle schools are needed in District 13 since the district’s schools are overall under capacity — but he also didn’t seem too torn up about the impending arrival of portable classrooms at PS 8, and now there’s a plan for their removal.
Last night at the Contracts for Excellence hearing in Manhattan, I heard that parents in District 3 are planning to adopt the strategies used this past year in District 2 to push for a new school on the Upper West Side, where new residential construction will soon flood already overcrowded schools with extra students. Upper West Siders — and parents at other overcrowded schools — start squeaking!