It is time to prioritize Manhattan students and end the unfair treatment of others.

Schools Chancellor David Banks recently announced the opening of nine new schools in Queens, Brooklyn, and the Bronx for the upcoming fall semester.

These new educational institutions aim to provide high-quality curriculum, dynamic instruction, enrichment, college readiness, and accessibility to families in their respective communities, fulfilling the dreams of every NYC public-school parent.

As a parent anticipating the high-school application process for my rising sixth-grader, I was excited about these new opportunities until I realized that Manhattan students are not eligible to apply.

Unfortunately, due to an admissions policy that disadvantages Manhattan students, many high schools, including popular ones like Francis Lewis HS, Forest Hills HS, and Millennium HS Brooklyn, will be out of reach for these students.

Students residing outside Manhattan have priority in their respective boroughs, but Manhattan students do not receive the same preferential treatment at Manhattan schools, leading to increased competition and limited access to suitable high schools for these students.

The lack of in-borough priority for Manhattan students has resulted in many of them being unable to secure admission to any of their preferred schools in recent years, creating a challenging situation for families in Manhattan District 2.

Former Chancellor Richard Carranza’s decision to strip in-borough priority for Manhattan families during the pandemic has had lasting negative effects, leaving many Manhattan students commuting long distances for an appropriate education.

While Carranza’s policies aimed to increase diversity, data shows minimal changes in racial and socioeconomic diversity at schools, with many Manhattan teens facing increased commuting burdens as a result.

As Chancellor Banks expands the pool of excellent schools and enhances curricula citywide, there is hope that Manhattan students will receive fair admissions priorities and access to quality education closer to home.

It is essential to end zero-sum policies and ensure that every student has access to a local school that meets their needs, regardless of their borough of residence.

Lisa Marks, a NYC public-school alum, parent, and former teacher, advocates for fair admissions policies for Manhattan students to ensure educational equity across all boroughs.

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