Parents upset their children have been wait-listed for a kindergarten program at their neighborhood school staged a rally outside P.S. 63 in Manhattan today.
They say their children have been denied access for next year, even though their kids already attend pre-kindergarten programs at the facility.
Parents say overcrowding is to blame, and that they've previously warned the Department of Education that this was bound to happen due to the baby boom and lack of school construction.
"We've been in this school for the past year and we've loved it," said parent protester Amy Steinhauser. "My daughter has made a lot of friends there and we're going through a really hard time right now because she's not going back next year at this point and we're going fight to get her back in. But it's pretty devastating."
"How do you look a four-year-old in the eye and tell him that he can't see his best friend any more?" said Dunia Sinnreich, another parent protester. "I mean, it's disgusting."
"This is an outrage throughout the entire city. It's not just happening at this school. It's not just happening in this district. It's happening everywhere," said City Councilwoman Rosie Mendez. "In my other school district, parents are being told, 'we don't know what school your child is going to go to, but show up to the first day of school to your zone school and then we'll figure it out if there's a slot for you somewhere.'"
The Department of Education says it expects more slots to open up for wait-listed students, as others are shifted into gifted and talented programs. Officials say they're working with principals and elected officials to develop a plan to accommodate the students.