Parents Plan Protest After DOE Cuts Half Of PS 101’s Pre-K Seats

Lan Huang, 42, holding son Zi Wing Lu, 4, and Carie Leung, 32, holding her daughter Amber, 4, planned to protest the lack of seats at PS 101 Wednesday (image by Bryan Pace for News)

The Daily News is reporting that a group of neighborhood parents plan to protest today, after the Department of Education cut two planned pre-kindergarten classes at PS 101 (2360 Benson Avenue).

The parents say their children, who were promised places in the program at PS 101, were instead offered seats at PS 216, which is more than a mile away on Avenue X.

From the News:

“I’m very frustrated and upset,” said Carie Leung, 32, whose daughter Amber, 4, was slated to start pre-K at PS 101 tomorrow. “We don’t really want to go. We have no choice.”
The Education Department sent letters to parents in August citing “increased enrollment” and “space constraints” at PS 101 as reasons for the canceled classes.
Only half of the 72 children who won a spot in the pre-K lottery for PS 101 were given a seat in the program. Principal Gregg Koroll said the school couldn’t handle two more sections because of the school’s already high enrollment.

DOE spokesman Frank Thomas told reporters that, when they learned of the increased enrollment at the school, the program was cut, but parents think they weren’t told soon enough.

Parents who were counting on their children being walking distance from home think they should have been given more advanced notice, with at least one parent comparing the sudden news to an April’s Fool joke.

According to the article, Assemblyman William Colton has been searching for a solution. He has suggested that the DOE provide a bus to take area children to PS 216, as well as offering parents with children enrolled in PS 101 spots at PS 216.

Assemblyman William Colton represents Assembly District 47, which includes Bensonhurst, as well as parts of Gravesend and Midwood.