The city will deal with Downtown's record kindergarten waitlists by sending the extra kids to Chinatown or cramming more students into already-crowded local schools, Department of Education officials told parents Monday.
Parents slammed the DOE's proposals as inadequate for dealing with the nearly 100 children who were waitlisted this year at four of Downtown's five elementary schools. The parents, joined by Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, said the only real solution is to build another new school in Lower Manhattan.
"We cannot continue down the road of denial," said Tricia Joyce, a parent leader at P.S. 234 in TriBeCa. "We have a problem. We cannot go into our fifth year of trying to find a Band-Aid."
The city is launching the new Peck Slip School in temporary space in Tweed Courthouse this fall, but even with the addition of those 50 new kindergarten seats, Downtown still has dozens more applicants than available spots, said Drew Patterson, the DOE's director of south Manhattan planning.
To handle the large waitlists, Patterson suggested sending the extra children to P.S. 1 on Henry Street, which has some available space, or adding extra kindergarten classes to P.S. 276 in southern Battery Park City, the Spruce Street School in the base of the Frank Gehry building or the new Peck Slip School in Tweed Courthouse.
Each of those proposals has its drawbacks, parents said.