“A major contributor to school crowding is the current zoning of elementary schools.” Although zoning is often idealized as the efficient or “natural” way to assign children to elementary schools, this report reminds us that NYC’s system of zoning is actually costly, inefficient, and irrational – another example of the premiums we all pay to maintain systems of entitlement.
Inexplicably, this report does not cite the obvious alternative: controlled choice. Controlled-choice admissions strategies simultaneously address the three major contributors to crowding cited in the report: the inefficiency of zoning in rapidly changing neighborhoods, the failure of DOE to cap enrollment when appropriate, and decisions by parents to seek seats at crowded schools. At the same time controlled choice allows parents to prioritize the schools they believe are best for their children. Controlled choice does NOT preclude children from attending schools close to their home (a result our current system hardly guarantees.)
Read the article here.
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