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No to re-zoning Lincoln Towers from PS 199 to PS 191

This petition had 374 supporters

Any proposed rezoning of a Lincoln Towers building from PS 199 to PS 191 is unacceptable. 

1.      PS 199 was originally established to serve the Lincoln Towers complex in the 1960s. The Lincoln Towers complex abuts PS 199 and even the farthest LT buildings have a closer geographic connection to PS 199 than nearly all of the other currently zoned buildings (see map).  Numerous residents have moved into the complex in reliance on admittance to PS 199. 

 2.      Lincoln Towers has helped develop and fund the success of PS 199 since the 1960s, including by increasing the safety of the area with a private security force.  

 3.      The Lincoln Towers complex houses a strong community of families that share common facilities (playgrounds, grounds, etc.); it would be a strong blow to split close friends amongst multiple schools.

Proposed Solutions:

1.      Re-zone recently constructed buildings or on the periphery of the zone.  New buildings have not funded or developed PS 199 since the 1960s, and due to tax abatements, have made limited contributions to school funding.  The developers of these buildings should have planned a solution. Buildings on the periphery will have the same distance to travel to PS 199 or 191.  

 2.      Delay re-zoning until the new school on West 60th street has been established by using the same solutions from the past two years. The city has had a number of years to address the over-crowding issue.  Re-zoning on less than 1 year’s notice does not provide sufficient time for families to make alternative plans (if they can afford to do so), whether by moving or by applying to private schools (most of which will have completed their application process by the time the zoning decision is made). 

 3.      Expand PS 199 temporarily via trailers and permanently via building expansion. PS 199 has room for expansion in the playground while still preserving significant outdoor space..

 4.      Seed PS 191 with G&T Programs operated independently of the current set-up and enhance the security force and protocol. Re-zoned families want a comparable program. They have paid real estate taxes to fund the entire school system and are entitled to programs which reward academic commitment and keep their kids safe.  The city recognizes this with the existence of the G&T program, but has not accommodated all the children who qualify for the program.  At PS 191, only 10% of students score a 3 or 4 on the state Math or English exam (vs. over 72% at PS 199).  It has been deemed “persistently dangerous”.  The new principal and attempt to re-classify the dangerous incidents as non-dangerous years after the fact do not address the fundamental issues.  Investment in a new independent G&T program and security address multiple deficiencies at once. 

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