Today the Department of Education reached a lease agreement with Greenwich House, which will provide classroom space at 27 Barrow Street for pre-kindergarten students in Greenwich Village next year. This agreement is the result of work by parent activists, local elected leaders, and the DOE over the past two weeks to rapidly identify and secure a site in the neighborhood to accommodate parents who had been placed on waiting lists.
Statement from Council Speaker Christine C. Quinn:
“Today we have had a great victory in Greenwich Village. Having reached a lease agreement for 27 Barrow Street, we are able to guarantee space for 4 year-olds to attend pre-kindergarten in their neighborhoods next year.
“In a remarkable display of collaboration, parent activists, local elected officials and the DOE formed a rapid response task force, and went out to visit sites. We’re very grateful to Greenwich House that they’re going to allow us to lease space in their building next year, so we can keep our pre-kindergarten programs close by, and provide all those on the kindergarten waitlist with a seat.
“This doesn’t answer all of our overcrowding problems in Greenwich Village or in New York City. But it is an important step in the right direction, and a real example of what can be accomplished when the community comes together.”
Statement from Representative Jerrold Nadler:
“This is terrific news. I would like to commend Mayor Bloomberg and the Department of Education for addressing the overcrowding Kindergarten situation in Greenwich Village so quickly. Our kids deserve the ability to attend a school that not only fosters learning, but is grounded in the community in which they live.”
Statement from Borough President Scott Stringer:
“I am very pleased that the task force, in collaboration with the Department of Education, was able to find a viable solution that kept pre-kindergarten classes in the Village, while providing room for waitlisted kindergarteners. The task force proved to be a successful model, as it identified, with the great help of parents’ input, 27 Barrow as a viable site for a short term solution. I look forward to continued collaboration to find true long term solutions to alleviate the overcrowding in the Village once and for all.”
Statement from Senator Thomas K. Duane:
“I appreciate the Department of Education’s quick work with the Greenwich Village Pre-K Task Force to secure these classrooms at 27 Barrow Street for use this fall. I also want to thank all the parents who made this short-term solution possible by scouring the Village for potential spaces over the past year,” said New York State Senator Tom Duane. “While this is just a temporary solution and we must continue our work with DOE to reduce class sizes, reclaim cluster spaces and prevent such a crisis from occurring again, this is a significant achievement.”
Statement from Assembly Member Deborah Glick:
“I am happy that this emergency has been addressed, but remain concerned about future capacity and look forward to working together with everyone to ensure adequate classroom space for all students.”
Statement from Council Member Rosie Mendez:
“I share the relief of the parents of all those kindergarteners who are now assured they can attend a school nearby their home. Adding pre-k classrooms on Barrow Street is a good short-term solution until the broader District 2 overcrowding problem is resolved.”
Statement from Council Member Alan Gerson:
“This achievement will give our pre-kindergarten and kindergarten students the start they deserve in the communities in which they reside. We appreciate all of the work provided by Speaker Quinn, as well as the Greenwich House, which has once again proved its legacy as Greenwich Village’s settlement house.”