Updated 03/24/2010 07:28 PM
Lawsuits Delay 80K City High School Assignments
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About 80,000 eighth-grade students will have to wait even longer to find out where they will attend high school in September.
Students were supposed to get letters Wednesday listing the high schools they have been matched with, but those decision letters are being delayed because of pending lawsuits over school closures.
In letters sent to parents and guardians, the Department of Education said in part, "...due to an ongoing lawsuit that affects the high school admissions process, we can’t yet send home matches as previously planned."
While DOE officials say they are doing everything they can to make the matches available soon, affected eighth graders say it cannot happen soon enough.
"I thought I was getting my letter today, and I was telling everyone. I wish I knew now so I could make a decision faster," said eighth grader Nate Millstein.
"Well, my whole family was expecting for me to call them and give them results," said eighth grader Ethan Judelson. "But now I have to wait until I don't really know when, and that's kind of frightening."
Speaking with reporters Wednesday, both Schools Chancellor Joel Klein and UFT President Michael Mulgrew remained optimistic.
"We're all hoping this gets resolved as expeditiously as possible, it's not good for anybody," Klein said.
"We want to get this solved right away and find out which way we have to go because that's the right thing for the kids," Mulgrew said.
Education watchdogs on the other hand say the lack of movement on both sides could lengthen the delay.
"If the UFT, the teachers' union and the NAACP aren't going to drop the lawsuit and there's no sign they are and the DOE is not showing any signs they want to reopen or not close those 19 schools, it seems to me there is a stalemate," said Pamela Wheaton of InsideSchools.org.
Meanwhile, thousands of incoming kindergartners are waiting to be assigned a school for next year.
According to DOE officials, 2,254 four- and five-year-olds are currently on wait lists across the city.
Also, 88 schools currently have wait lists for 1,885 children in their zones.
A DOE spokesperson told NY1 that the wait lists will shrink considerably before September.