To The Editor:
Your article, “Walcott, Iannece Clash On CB 11 Meeting” (Queens Tribune, May 16, 2013) covers the heated controversy at the meeting, but only barely outlines the plans of the SCA for a new school in an inappropriate Bayside location that is opposed by the community. It also fails to mention the solution long recommended by the Community Board, and restated by its Education Committee at the meeting. That is the return of PS 130 to District 26 use for the children that currently live in its zone.
PS 130 (Francis Lewis Blvd. at 42nd Ave.) is a school in District 26, and a former District 26 school, that is currently used by District 25 as a magnet school. Kids are bused to it from around District 25, while local kids who could walk to the school are bused out to PS 31, PS 159 and PS 162, helping to cause overcrowding at these schools. It is that overcrowding that is the rationale for a new school. In addition, the cost of all this busing is enormous and unnecessary, and the volume of buses is a blight on the neighborhood.
The use of PS 130 by District 25 derives from an old and temporary demographic condition, and should come to an end. Some years ago, when CB11 looked into this, we did a study that revealed two things. The schools to which the District 25 kids would otherwise go were less crowded than the schools to which the kids living near PS 130 were bused. Also, the cost of all this busing approached the entire budget of PS 130 itself, about $1 million at the time.
There is no need to build a new school in Bayside to relieve the overcrowding. There is only the need to return our school back to our community.
Editor’s Note: The author is a member of the Community Board 11 Education Committee.