2002-12-12 / Top Stories

Mayor, Chancellor Announce School Choice Plan

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and Chancellor Joel I. Klein this week announced that the Department of Education will establish a citywide public school transfer process for eligible children under the federal No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB).

The NLCB law requires parents whose children attend a school that has been identified as needing improvement have the option of sending their children to a better performing public school. With this announcement, the Department of Education will centralize the NCLB transfer process - notifying parents whose children are eligible, identifying options within and across home districts, and implementing transfers sensibly and more effectively. By centralizing the process, the Department will be able to provide these options in a more efficient, equitable and cost effective way.

"I have asked Chancellor Klein to take immediate steps to institute a citywide system of NCLB public school choice to allow sufficient time for parents to make informed choices and to notify parents by mid-June 2003 of new school assignments for next September," said Mayor Bloomberg.

"Here in New York City, we are committed to fully complying with the federal law and regulations and to putting a citywide system of NCLB public school choice in place for the coming school year," said Klein.

"Our review of last year’s process has shown that it had serious shortcomings," he continued, "which can only be addressed by moving to a citywide and centrally coordinated process. Our top priority in making these changes is to give as many students as possible the opportunity to be in public schools that are working. We also recognize that many parents want their children to be in public schools as close to home as possible, and we must continue to do everything we can to meet that goal."

In addition, the entire citywide transfer process will now be coordinated centrally. This assures that NCLB eligible students will get first priority for transfers.

Under the new process, parents who apply will be notified of their children’s transfer before the end of the school year. The anticipated deadline for completed parent requests is mid-May 2003. This timeline allows for a smooth transition to the new schools on the first day of school in September 2003. Letters to the parents of all eligible students will be mailed centrally by early Spring 2003. Comprehensive information will also be available to parents through the individual schools. In addition, the DOE will further increase outreach efforts through advertisements in citywide and local papers, posters, internet announcements and other community-based outlets.

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