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UWS school rezoning proposal aims to reduce overcrowding, cultivate racial integration

If approved, 11 District 3 schools from West 59th Street to West 116th Street would be affected.

After 25 meetings in two years and much heated debate, the New York City Department of Education on Wednesdayunveiled its final proposal to rezone school zones on the Upper West Side to reduce overcrowding and promote racial integration.

The move remaps 11 school zones from West 59th Street to West 116th Street.

Among the schools that would be affected—and the subject of much debate—is PS 199. The zone for the high-achieving and overcrowded West 70th Street school would decrease, and two of the six buildings in the Lincoln Tower complex would be reassigned to PS 191, which is expected to move to a new facility.

Mostly black and Hispanic students attend PS 191, and 7 percent of its students passed state math tests, while 24 percent passed English language arts. Comparatively, PS 199 is mostly white, with 85 and 82 percent of students passing math and language arts, respectively.


Some parents of PS 452 students oppose that school’s move 16 blocks south to West 61st Street due to concerns about the commute and ties to their neighborhood. Those who approve the move, including its principal and staff, have argued the school will be able to flourish and diversify in a larger space.

The District 3 CEC is going vote on the proposal next month for the changes to begin next fall. Under the proposal, current students and their siblings would not have to leave their zoned schools.

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