While New York City has some of the most segregated school districts in the nation, the current conversation surrounding the rezoning of P.S. 307 and P.S. 8 has our neighborhood’s elementary schools at the front of people’s minds.
This past Friday, Mayor Bill de Blasio acknowledged the complexity of desegregating New York’s public schools, but said the city’s current zoning process would not change.
Here are the Mayor’s full remarks:
“I think I can safely say, my — a lot of my public life has been devoted to trying to create a more fair society and more inclusion, but I also can say, as a public school parent until June, that you have to also respect families who have made a decision to live in a certain area, often times because of the specific school, and have put a lot of their life into that – have been deeply involved in the school, have made massive life decisions and investments because of which school their kid would go to. These are real issues.
So, we care deeply about creating as much inclusion, as much opportunity for people to learn together, work together, live together, but it’s not an easy thing to solve. This is the history of America. You know, this is something much deeper than some kind of push your – you know – push-a-button solution.
So, the chancellor and I talk about this and talk about ways to approach the problem that are appropriate. But in terms of school zones, I think you have to start with the assumption those zones are constructed, you know, on a real geographical basis that makes sense in many cases, and you wouldn’t disrupt them without a real careful, thoughtful process. And then in other cases that really does make sense – not just because of larger, you know, social goals but, much more importantly, because you may have a school that just physically can’t handle the population anymore – you’ve got to come up with some kind of accommodation. That’s what typically we look at in those situations.”
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