As the consequences of the Manhattan baby boom become more dire, the Department of Education thinks it has a last-ditch solution to the overcrowding problem: busing. According to a close reading of a DOE “blueprint” released on May 16, if conditions can’t be improved at popular schools like P.S. 234 in Tribeca and P.S. 89 in Battery Park City by maximizing existing space and limiting out-of-area students, the DOE may “relocate” kids to less crowded schools up to two miles away. Unsurprisingly, parents are unhappy. “Relocating students to other schools is not a good idea,” says Eric Greenleaf, who chairs P.S. 234’s overcrowding committee. “This disruption hurts children’s lives and their education.” In fact, parents are unhappy with the whole plan. But the other options could be worse: Another contentious suggestion is limiting gifted-and-talented programs in crowded schools to free up space. A DOE spokesperson says nothing’s set in stone: “Whether these solutions will be necessary depends on the schools’ September enrollment, and we have not yet decided to implement any of them.”
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