Pre-K jitters?

By George Hunka

UPDATE: For more on the challenges that universal Pre-K will present to downtown schools, see Irene Plagianos’ story “Two Downtown Schools Cut Pre-K Programs Because of Overcrowding” in today’s DNAinfo.

The new emphasis from Mayor Bill de Blasio on universal Pre-K for New York City is laudable, but the effort will exacerbate an already difficult overcrowding situation in downtown schools like PS 150 and its neighbor PS 234. In a January 30, 2014, story in the Downtown Express, an anonymous reporter says that sources have been suggesting that PS 150 add an additional Pre-K class — for the first time upsetting the one-grade, one-class model of the school. According to the story:

This week, de Blasio said the city would be ready to expand to 53,000 full-day pre-K spots this September if Gov. Andrew Cuomo and his Albany cohorts come up with a reliable revenue stream to pay for it …

Lower Manhattan won’t be an easy place to find more space, but one place probably already on the mayor’s list is Tribeca’s PS 150, which this year had room to add a kindergarten class to help PS 234’s overcrowding, although 234 ended up having enough room.

Paul Hovitz, Board 1’s Youth Committee co-chairperson and one of the Downtown leaders in the fight for more schools, agreed with us that P.S. 150 is a good possibility and he suggested a few others.

Sources close to PS 150 report that Paul Hovitz says that he was misquoted in the story, adding that Community Board 1’s Youth & Education is not advocating that PS150 take another Pre-K class; he only meant to report that just last year PS150 almost took another K class.

The full Downtown Express story can be found here.


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