Gothamist, NY Times, DNAinfo, and others reported on the second of two town hall meetings to gather feedback from the community on the preliminary rezoning proposal for District 13 (Brooklyn Heights, parts of Downtown Brooklyn, DUMBO and Vinegar Hill) that would place students from Dumbo and Vinegar Hill, currently in P.S. 8 to P.S. 307 in Vinegar Hill.
The proposal has drawn intense opposition not only from the families who would be rezoned from the predominantly white P.S. 8 to the mostly black P.S. 307. The NY Times states, “Some residents of the housing project served by P.S. 307 also oppose the rezoning, worried about how an influx of wealthy, mostly white families could change their school.”
Parents and community members are asking for more time to plan for changes. One parent asked, “If you’re doubling the classroom size, what are the plans in terms of who are you hiring? Who’s going to be training them?”
Gothamist reports that a spokeswoman from The Church of the Open Door, which many residents of the Farragut Houses attend said, “We know some white people don’t want to go to PS 307 because it’s predominantly black, and some of the black people don’t want this influx of white people coming in. To do it so shockingly and so quickly… let’s stop the present plan and fight for the time to create a new plan.”
After the meeting, DOE spokeswoman Devora Kaye issued the following statement:
“These zones were created decades ago and no longer reflect the needs of Downtown Brooklyn families. We’ve proposed a solution that will ensure each school has an appropriate zone size to create better schools for all students. We’re working closely with the CEC, members of both school communities and engaging parents to collect feedback before any final proposal is submitted to best serve the community.”