District 26 students in an as-yet undetermined zone drawn around the District 25 school at 200-01 42nd Ave. will be able to apply for seats this fall after initial head counts determine available space, according to CB 11 Education Chairman Melvyn Meer. And starting with the 2006-07 school year, District 26 students in this zone will be eligible for the lottery that determines admission to PS 130 along with District 25 students, Meer said. The K-3 school will remain under the administration of District 25, which covers Flushing, Whitestone, College Point, Bay Terrace and part of Auburndale and Fresh Meadows."This entire thing came to a head through CB 11," Meer said. "The neighborhood petitioned us, literally, about this school. (The compromise) is not perfect, but it will do."Many details of the agreement still need to be decided. Meer said he did not know if District 26 students applying for admission to PS 130 for the 2005 school year would be placed on a first-come, first-served basis or if they, too, would be put in the lottery system. The exact nature of the new zone is also still undefined, but the parameters of the informal zone will be drawn in collaboration with the board and officials from Region 3, the Department of Education's geographic bureau that encompasses both districts as well as Districts 28 and 29, Meer said.It was also not known how many District 26 students might be eligible for admission to PS 130, which has a capacity for around 240 general education students and also serves about 50 special education students, who will not be affected by the zoning change. Judith Chin, the regional superintendent for Region 3, released a statement saying "given seat availability, some children who reside in District 26 in the immediate area of PS 130 in District 25 may be considered for admission." She did not provide further comment.In Feb., Meer and the rest of the board supported a call for the return of the school near Francis Lewis Boulevard to District 26, considered the city's best and serving children in Bayside, Little Neck, Douglaston, and parts of Auburndale, Glen Oaks, Fresh Meadows and Queens Village. PS 130 used to serve District 26 students but was taken over by District 25 when the student population declined in Bayside. Now facing overcrowded schools in District 26, CB 11 members said PS 130 ought to be returned. After Meer and CB 11 Chairman Jerry Iannece met in late March with Chin and local Instructional Superintendent Anita Saunders, the group reached an agreement to allow some nearby District 26 students apply to PS 130.Meer, who helped spearhead much of the community effort, said he was pleased with the compromise, although he had hoped for the return of all PS 130 seats to District 26 students."I don't want to sound ungrateful, but we have a real overcrowding problem in District 26 that's much bigger than District 25," he said. "I would have preferred that PS 130 be returned to our district and absorb some overflows of our schools. But I'm really pleased the community board could make a contribution."Reach reporter Sophia Chang by e-mail at news@times
©2005 Community News Group
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