2002-12-28 / Letters

Rezoning Is Not About Race

Rezoning Is Not About Race

Dear Editor;

The Rockaway Park Association (RPA) vociferously objects to any and all "up zoning" of P.S. 114, including the recent plan presented by the CSB 27 Rezoning Committee calling for a change in lines from Beach 122nd Street to Beach 129th Street. This plan should not even be considered as a realistic option and must be taken off the table.

The purpose of rezoning is to return to the concept of "neighborhood schools."  I mean schools that a child can walk to and not have to take a bus; schools that fosters student and parental involvement because it is right in the backyard of those who attend; schools that provide the best education and resources for the students. Race should not be a factor in determining a zone, and any pandering by the School Board to those who use race as a litmus test is disappointing and disheartening. The School Board must have backbone and do what is right, not politically correct.

Since being established in 1996, the RPA has advocated for the down zoning of P.S. 114 from its present line to Beach 117th Street. This makes sense and should be reviewed and considered by our School Board.

In addition to the up zoning proposal, CSB 27 plans to make P.S. 114 a K-5, eliminating the sixth grade. Without a middle school that offers quality education and safety, parents will be forced to send their children to schools off the peninsula at an even younger age. Before eliminating the sixth grade the School Board must address conditions at MS 180. If they want to leave a legacy, the total revamping of 180 would be a good start.

All homeowners and tenants living in Rockaway Park, and parents of P.S. 114 students, need to attend the next (and last) meeting of the School Board. Numbers mean power. Come out and object to any up zoning of P.S. 114 and the elimination of the sixth grade.


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