On February 28, 2014, the Auburndale Improvement Association, Inc. sent Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña a letter requesting to meet with her regarding
PS 130, located at 200-01 42 Avenue, Bayside, Queens. To date, we have received no response from her or anyone on her staff. The letter was sent certified, return receipt requested, so we know that our letter was received by the Chancellor’s office.
In the letter, we told the Chancellor about our civic association’s goal to allow local children living around PS 130 to be given priority placement in that school. The school is geographically in District 26, but is utilized by District 25. Most students are bused in or delivered to the school by car from other distant areas. Meanwhile, children living around the school have to be bused to other overcrowded schools in District 26. We sent the Chancellor, along with the letter, over 200 petition signatures and many comments from residents living immediately around PS 130. They want the school back. Surely, their concerns deserve some type of consideration. In our opinion, this situation makes no sense and it is not fair to local children or their taxpaying parents.
If PS 130 were returned to the local community, it would no doubt alleviate the need to construct a school on the Keil property in Bayside. There is still a lot of controversy swirling around that plan. It would appear to my civic that new schools would be better utilized elsewhere in District 26 as well as in District 25.
This is not the first time that my civic group has been ignored regarding this important community issue. Former Chancellor Dennis Walcott and other Department of Education officials have ignored our requests to meet as well.
We would still like to meet with Chancellor Farina to discuss this issue further. We have written her a second letter to request a meeting and we have asked our local elected officials for support in this endeavor. There must be some way to enable local children to receive priority placement at PS 130. We feel that would be in the best educational interest of our neighborhood children.
At the same time, we do not wish to interrupt the education of those students currently attending PS 130. By meeting, details can be worked out so that everyone wins.
My civic association will continue to advocate for what is right for the children living around what should be a neighborhood school first.
Henry Euler, First Vice President
Auburndale Improvement Association, Inc.