After all of the debate on this blog last week over school admissions and the headaches the process causes, I was wondering whether it is actually getting harder to get into desirable schools in Manhattan than it used to be. The answer appears to be both yes and no.
On the one hand, Districts 2 and 3 are adding population far faster than they are adding school seats. According to a report released last week by Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer's office, in four areas at risk for overcrowding, city officials approved new residential buildings that could add as many as 2,300 children to the neighborhoods' schools — but added only 143 school seats in those areas. As those buildings get finished and families move in, school admissions pressure can only heat up.
But at the same time, the recent change in G&T admissions policy actually increased the percentage of children in districts 2 and 3 who meet eligibility requirements. As Eduwonkette noted in the comments to an earlier Insideschools blog post last week, she estimates that the percentage of children in District 2 classified as gifted increased this year from 7.1 to 15.2 percent; in District 3: an increase from 13.8 to 22.3 percent. So while the pressure may be on for neighborhood school admission, more families in these areas may have the option to choose a district-wide G&T program.