Department Of Education officials announced Wednesday that they will allow families to transfer their children out of 61 public schools deemed by city officials to be failing.
Currently, the Panel for Educational Policy is expected to vote on March 11 on whether to phase out 22 of these failing public schools in Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens and the Bronx.
Another 39 public schools will still be phasing out next year.
About 16,000 eligible students are expected to receive transfer applications in mid- to late March, and families will have four to five weeks to respond.
DOE officials will then process the applications by the end of the school year, so that the students can attend new schools by September.
State education officials have already approved the transfer policy, and say they will give "first in line" status to applicants from phase-out schools who want available seats at higher performing schools.
Among those students, priority will given to those who are low performing or come from high-needs households, according to the DOE.
DOE officials said if any particular failing school loses too many students, they may consider closing the school immediately rather than phasing it out over time.
Before this policy change, students could only be allowed to transfer out of schools that were deemed as struggling under federal "No Child Left Behind" guidelines or failing by state standards.
Under the old rules, fewer than 1 percent of eligible students in failing schools chose to transfer, according to the DOE.
A hearing was held Wednesday at Jonathan Levin High School for Media and Communications in the Bronx, which is on the list.
The school had a four-year graduation rate of 31 percent in 2012, and received no higher than a "C" in the last three years of progress report cards.
The Panel for Educational Policy will decide next month whether Jonathan Levin High School and the other schools will have to close.
Parents and students NY1 spoke to said they want the school to get another shot.
"It's a wonderful experience for them that would not be given out anywhere else," said one person who attended the meeting. "You might as well start what you finish. It's better that way. Because to be jumping to another school, they have friends here."
"I love this school," said another person who attended the meeting. "The media and the teachers are so well, and they teach us well enough that we could grasp our material even more. It's a shame to see the school close."
22 Proposed School Phase-Outs
The Department of Education has proposed to phase out the following 22 schools:
High School of Graphic Communication Arts
Choir Academy of Harlem
Bread & Roses Integrated Arts High School
J.H.S. 013 Jackie Robinson
Herbert H. Lehman High School
P.S. 064 Pura Belpre
Jonathan Levin High School for Media and Communications
M.S. 142 John Philip Sousa
P.S. 230 Dr Roland N. Patterson
P.S. 050 Clara Barton
P.S. 167 The Parkway
J.H.S. 166 George Gershwin
J.H.S. 302 Rafael Cordero
Sheepshead Bay High School
General D. Chappie James Middle School of Science
P.S. 174 Dumont
P.S. 073 Thomas S. Boyland
P.S. 140 Edward K Ellington
Law, Government and Community Service High School
Business, Computer Applications & Entrepreneurship High School
In addition, the Department of Education is proposing to phase out middle school grades from two schools: Academy for Social Action: A College Board School in Manhattan and P.S. 156 Laurelton in Queens.