Taking a page out of the PS 39 parents’ handbook, Northwest Slope neighbors are mobilizing to fight the rezoning proposal the CEC will soon consider. To avoid being zoned out of PS 321, the group has lined 5th Avenue with fliers inviting neighbors to join the Facebook page (currently over 1,500 members strong), sign their petition (over 1,000 signatures), complete their survey to demonstrate the neighborhood’s diversity and write CEC and DOE decision makers.
The flier rallies residents around two issues: children’s education and property values. While the first concern will carry weight, the second is unlikely to persuade the CEC. Judging from the last CEC meeting, another unpersuasive argument is diversity. CEC members seemed unimpressed by the overwhelmingly white crowd’s call to preserve racial diversity at PS 321 by keeping their homes in the magical 321 zone. Yet this is the flag around which much of the resistance is rallying.
A better argument made on the Facebook page is getting less attention: the need to include other schools in the rezoning plan. CEC 15 President Jim Devor has echoed the sentiment that PS 133 and PS 282 should be part of any rezoning plan. Calls for more holistic approaches which embrace these schools are more likely to be considered at the next CEC meeting.