DOE responding to overcrowding concerns in Manhattan, Brooklyn

Photo by Annie Mole

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!