2003-01-18 / Editorial/Opinion

Rezoning Rockaway Schools

Rezoning Rockaway Schools

As its last act prior to its dissolution, Community School Board 27 is fulfilling its legal mandate to rezone the Rockaway peninsula. This rezoning effort had to be done and, in our opinion, it was done correctly, in the light of day and with lots of community input. Rockaway had to be rezoned for many reasons, the foremost being the construction of a new school in Far Rockaway. In addition, there was a great need to equalize the registers of a number of schools, some of which were overutilized while others were underutilized and to bring neighborhood students back to neighborhood schools. After several meetings, the school board unveiled its plan last Monday night. It is not a perfect plan and not everybody in the Rockaway school community will applaud it. It is, however, a plan for stability and growth as we move into a new millennium in school governance. It assures that all of the children in the Redfern Houses in Far Rockaway will have access to the new state-of-the-art building. It brings school registers into line with the school's capability and it provides for some growth (though not nearly enough) to allow for new construction. It brings children who have been bused to PS 225 home to their neighborhood schools, PS 42 and PS 105, and does so without overcrowding those schools. It leaves the already overcrowded PS 114 out of the mix, denying those who would extend the school's zone for political and financial reasons. All in all, the school board should be congratulated for its hard work in the face of extinction. It could easily have sat back for these last months and said, "it's not my job anymore." It did not. It did its duty as it saw fit, and it did it well.


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