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City school zoning creates problems

We live on a block where the houses are in city school District 26, but we are all zoned for District 29 schools. Yet all the children on the block attend District 26 schools. My son, who is in special ed, is being placed in a District 29 school.

Apparently, if you are in general education, no one checks your address to see if you are zoned for a particular school. In special ed, a placement officer checks your address on the computer to see what you are zoned for. All addresses should be checked, not just special ed kids’.

I have contacted numerous people regarding this: the zoning office, the Districts 26 and 29 placement offices and district parent advocates. I went to City Councilmen David Weprin’s (D-Hollis) and James Gennaro’s (D-Fresh Meadows) and state Sen. Frank Padavan’s (R-Bellerose) offices.

Weprin’s office took more than two months to call us to tell us they could not help us. Padavan’s office sent a letter to city Schools Chancellor Joel Klein’s office regarding this problem, but the chancellor’s office never responded.

The principal of IS 172 got nasty and defensive when I called him. When I went to Diane Guzman, the District 26 placement officer, she was not only rude, but implied I was lying when I mentioned students attend District 26 schools when they are zoned for District 29 schools.

If these children can attend District 26 schools, my son should have that right, too. It is discrimination. He should be able to go to school with his peers.

What really gets me is how there are families who live outside the district in areas such as Flushing who have relatives or friends who live in Little Neck and use their addresses to attend these District 26 schools. My house is actually in District 26 and my son cannot attend those schools.

So now he will go to a less desirable school. He has not been placed yet and I only hope it is not somewhere where there is constant fighting and disruption. With a learning disability, Attention Deficit Disorder and hearing loss, chances are he will fall between the cracks and become an at-risk child in a problem school. What happened to “No Child Left Behind?”

Nassau County is looking better and better. The taxes are worth it.

Barbara Busardo

Bellerose

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