UWS Rezoning Could Shut Out Parents Who Moved To Send Kids To Prestigious School

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Some Upper West Side families who moved into their neighborhood to get their kids into a top-rated school are learning a tough lesson.

As CBS2’s Hazel Sanchez reported, a proposed rezoning plan could shut them out.

Julie Flanagan and her family moved into their building just for a chance to enroll her 3-year-old daughter, Rosie, in P.S. 199, an award-winning elementary school.

“Across the street from us, you’re no longer zoned for 199, and it made us pause and think, well, if something happens to my husband’s job, if we live at this side of the street, 199 is still an option for us. If we cross the street, it’s not,” Flanagan said.

P.S. 199 on the Upper West Side (Credit: CBS2)

P.S. 199 on the Upper West Side (Credit: CBS2)

The Flanagans are far from alone.

“Families sometimes relocate just to get in the right zone, and that’s pretty common,” said Lin Anderson, of the Upper West Side.

“We moved across the street because we like this school,” one man said.

The P.S. 199 zone currently stretches from West 64th to West 71st streets and from Riverside Boulevard to Central Park West. But the city Department of Education is proposing to remove 11 blocks of that zone, including the Flanagans’ block on West 66th and Riverside.

Those blocks would be assigned to a new school under construction and nearby P.S. 191, a school recently labled by the state Education Department as “persistently dangerous.”

“It’s a pretty scary thought,” Flanagan said.

The local Community Education Council will make the final call on the proposed rezoning.

Some parents at P.S. 199 say it’s necessary for their overcrowded school.

“As much as I feel bad about people that are going to get left out … right now that’s the only solution,” said Miranda Schubert, a mother. “Otherwise, we face the same problems next year.”

A hearing for the proposed rezoning plan is scheduled for Saturday at P.S. 191. The principal and teachers from P.S. 191 will speak at a public meeting Thursday night.

A final vote will take place Nov. 19.

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