D15 rezoning and diversity- listen up

Those of you who live in the part of Brooklyn Heights located in D15, Cobble Hill, Boerum Hill, Carroll Gardens and Red Hook, you need to be aware of this now (zones 261, 29, 38, 58, 32 15 and 676). I don’t want to hear -and I will- about how you were surprised by the rezoning plan in the fall and how fast this went down. It is way more transparent than I have seen with previous rezoning, with much more attempt at public engagement. Engage now! When you drag your feet, it is not their fault. There have been three public meetings so far (since April) and there will be several more, gathering parent feedback as well as informing the neighborhood. If you aren’t participating or staying aware, I don’t want to hear complaining.

Whether you are there or not, one of these things is going to go down. It would be better if you had a say. You may not get what you want, but you may get what you need - Mick Jagger

To track the Powerpoints from the meetings so far:
go to schools.nyc.gov
then to “about us”
then to the very bottom of the page “Visit the District Planning folders to view current rezoning proposals under consideration in: Brooklyn”
then click the D15 link and look at the report (the June meeting here)

To get your name on the mailing list to receive announcements about further meetings:

The CEC (Community Education Council) located in each district is an elected body of parents whose main power is approving rezoning plans that are generally created by the Office of Portfolio Planning within the DoE.

Just for clarity: none of these plans includes Brooklyn New School or The Children’s School which will remain Un-zoned programs that draw from the region and balance for diversity already.
Also, this plan is for Prek/Kindergarten priorities. Older kids are grandfathered into their schools and it is very likely that siblings of those students will also be prioritized.

Read this Chalkbeat article about the concepts of the two plans currently floated. Some kind of rezoning has long been anticipated in the neighborhoods because of persistent overcrowding at PS 29 and 58. It is precipitated by the addition of 400 seats in the new construction at PS 32 in Carroll Gardens. This gives the DoE opportunity to reshuffle overcrowded and under-capacity programs that are also very segregated economically.

One plan involves rezoning but prioritizing 25-35% of the seats for economically disadvantaged students from the sub-district (the area that comprises the 7 schools). We don’t have a map yet of how those zones may look. The second plan, does away with the seven zones entirely and makes Bococa and Red Hook one large “sub-district” where families apply prioritizing schools on their ranked application (that part hasn’t changed), and giving priority in each school to a % of economically disadvantaged students.

More stakeholders need to be represented at these meetings - economically disadvantaged families AND the families of toddlers.

For those of you from the rest of the district waiting for the hammer to drop on your sub-district: This happened because of the crazy overcapacity in a couple of those schools AND the school construction done to add 400 seats in the neighborhood. Is a giant new school building going up in your neighborhood? Are their schools that are wildly over-capacity? There are not. Calm down. Will this ever happen in your neighborhood? It is not impossible (likely NOT soon), but it is more likely to be addressed in these neighborhoods:

“The Mayor and Chancellor announced that Districts 9, 13, 16, 28 and 31 will be the first districts to receive funding as part of the $2 million school diversity grant program to develop their own community-driven school diversity and integration plans. The City announced the grant in fall 2018, with the community-driven middle school diversity plan in District 15 as a model.” - City press release

Just because they are using the D15 middle school plan as a model doesn’t necessarily mean that they are only talking about middle schools. Contact your CEC’s for more information.