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Most Overcrowded School District Gets Rezoned

posted Aug 25, 2017, 7:37 AM by C Hauber   [ updated Aug 25, 2017, 7:38 AM ]

Queens’ School District 24, the most overcrowded school district in the five boroughs, will be rezoned to better accommodate students and make use of the building space for the 2018-2019 school year, according to the city’s Department of Education.

Courtesy of the DOE

Community Education Council (CEC) 24 heard a presentation by the DOE on May 23 and will vote on the proposal at the group’s June meeting.

The rezoning is moving forward to allow for the creation of a new home for PS 211 at 50-51 98th St. in Corona, with a capacity of 796 seats. It will be located in the same lot as IS 61 Leonard Da Vinci. PS 211 is currently located at 86-37 53rd Ave. in Elmhurst.

The rezoning would include PS 13, PS 14, PS 16, PS 28, PS 89 and PS 110. The rezoning gives each school the potential to reduce student population by 20 to 30 percent. The only school that would increase is PS 211, with an increase of up to 11 percent possible. PS 13 would only see a decrease of 5 percent in population.

In the DOE’s presentation, the agency explained that the new school would ensure that each school has an appropriately zoned size and would diminish the need to cap and overflow students or reduce waitlisted students in District 24.

No current students will be required to switch schools. The rezoning will only affect students starting school in the fall of 2018.
The DOE is currently collecting data from the public and the CEC on the proposal to ensure that it would appropriately serve the district.

A rendering of the new PS 211

David Carrington, an analyst for the DOE, said that the agency interviewed the principals of the schools affected and redrew the lines in a way that would best allay concerns and give them more flexibility with their budgets.

He noted that overcrowding in the district is especially severe in Corona and Elmhurst, and that some local schools are operating between 120 and 170 percent of capacity.

Joann Berger, the president of the Council of PTA Presidents in the district, said she was concerned that while the DOE was rezoning, the agency was not taking into consideration all of the new apartment buildings being constructed in the district that would likely house children who would need to attend local schools. She believes that this would affect the DOE’s projected population decreases.