2001-05-05 / Columnists

Simon Says….

by Lew M. Simon, Democratic District Leader, 23rd A.D. Part B

by Lew M. Simon, Democratic District Leader, 23rd A.D. Part B

One of the major issues West End parents face is the question of the availability of the Kindergarten program at PS 114. On Tuesday evening, I attended an emergency meeting of concerned parents who have children on the waiting list. It has come to my attention that numerous parents whose children are zoned for PS 114 would not be able to attend Kindergarten there because of a lack of space.

Prior to that meeting, I spoke with District 27 superintendent Matt Bromme, who gave me his full assurance that each and every child whose name was on the registration or waiting list would be accepted for September enrollment. I made this announcement at the meeting. Many of the parents requested a letter that would assure their child’s acceptance and I reached out to Mr. Bromme, who said that the letters would be sent.

Many of the parents were also worried about getting their children into the Pre-K program at PS 114. Sherry Copeland, the district’s early childhood director, assured the parents that she is signing up more community-based agencies within the area to run Pre-K programs, perhaps as many as 18. The question of whether children who did not attend the Pre-K program at PS 114 would be accepted there for Kindergarten was raised and Copeland sounded as if they would be admitted if they were zoned for the school.

On Thursday evening, I attended a fundraiser for the school at Wendy’s. Twenty percent of the proceeds from one register between the hours of 5 p.m. and 9 p.m. went to the school. Under the leadership of principal Gerard McCarthy, the night was a big success.

That same night I went to a special meeting of Community School Board 27 to address the elimination of local school boards. Both the central board and the local boards would be replaced by a Commissioner of Education responsible to the mayor. The commissioner would then appoint deputy borough commissioners. Those commissioners are not required to hold public meetings nor to allow any public access. This means "nobody to talk to and you’re on your own – good luck!" The borough commissioners would appoint district superintendents without community input.

I am urging all residents to sign a petition against doing away with the local school boards. They are available at my office at 112-20 Beach Channel Drive. Our Assemblywoman, Audrey Pheffer, has made it clear that she does not support this bill.

Our next trip to Atlantic City’s Trump Marina will be on Saturday, May 9. We leave at 5:30 a.m. and return at 8 a.m. The cost is $25 with $14 returned. Eleven people on the bus will win $10. Call my office for reservations.

I want to offer congratulations to somebody who I consider a brother, Terry Flynn, Jr., and his lovely wife, Brenda for becoming the proud parents of Terrance Flynn, III.

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