FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: September 20, 2013
Lane Opposes New City Plan for Kindergarten Admissions
James Lane, the Green Party candidate for public advocate, said today that he was opposed to the city's new $800,000 kindergarten admissions process, known as Kindergarten Connect.
Lane said that at a minimum that the Mayor should allow parents and the public the opportunity for public input before the changes take place. He noted that in 2008, when OSEPO moved to centralize pre-K admissions, they held at least one public hearing where they detailed their plans. Kindergarten Connect was announced on September 12th, only 7 days before its related contract went before the PEP.
"As a parent with a child in our public school system, I am deeply concerned to hear about this $800,000 that has been allocated to a plan for changing the kindergarten admission process without input from the public," said James. James opposes Mayoral control of the city school system.
Parents will likely have very few options to move their child to another school. Kindergarten Connect directs parents to submit a list of their school choices, ranked in order of preference. The City's Education Department then determines where the child will attend kindergarten. In May of 2014, parents will receive kindergarten admissions letters with only one school placement (a big change from years past). For most districts, this differs significantly from the current, school-based system in which parents who apply to multiple schools learn of acceptances or waitlists from each school individually. It is then up to the parents to decide where to enroll their children.
"In many of our public schools, it is the teachers and parents that have proven themselves as the real champions of problem solving in the face a budget cuts from the City and I feel that they deserve a voice in these types of decisions.,” said Lane.
Lane added that parents need to be allowed the option to make their final choice on which school they plan on sending their children to as they will be the ones responsible for ensuring they may have adequate transportation, healthy food choices and a diverse educational curriculum that they feel will best serve these young developing minds.”
"As Public Advocate, I would help to organize more accessible public hearings in regards to any budgetary or process changes that would be affecting our communities and give organizations such as NYCpublic.org a forum to make their objections heard," Lane pledged.
ABOUT JAMES LANE
James Lane is the Green Party candidate for Public Advocate. Lane has never had a paid government position but he has volunteered locally to improve his community. If elected, he plans on focusing on Adoptee Rights Reform, Affordable Housing, Consumer Rights, Electoral Reform, Mass Transit and Public Health among other issues. He currently lives in Park Slope, Brooklyn with his wife and child.
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For additional information please contact: James Lane at VoteJamesLane@gmail.com, 917-865-2591