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Public School Pre-K-tastrophy

for The Brooklyn Paper
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The pre-kindergarten rejection letters are out — and some parents are fuming that their youngsters didn’t get the highly coveted slots, despite city policy to keep siblings in the same school.

Pat Mannino, the parent coordinator at Park Slope’s PS 107, said she’s received angry phone calls from more than a dozen snubbed parents since the letters went out this week.

Hundreds of parents are calling Mannino’s counterparts at schools all over the borough, as well.

“Parents are upset because [their children] weren’t selected, but met the criteria,” she said, noting that there is only one pre-K class at her school, despite demand for at least twice that.

This year, the Department of Education revamped the city’s pre-K enrollment policy so that individual schools no longer controlled the application process, which is now run out of the agency’s Tweed Courthouse headquarters.

The policy still calls for siblings to be allowed to attend the same school, but the problem is the lack of space, said PS 107s PTA President Stuart Miller, who has an 8-year-old in second grade and a 9-year-old in fourth grade.

“The reality is there’s only 18 slots,” he said.

And in a school with 463 students — and a neighborhood in the midst of a stroller explosion — that isn’t much room.

One parent who can sympathize with rejection-ridden families is PS 107 PTA Vice President Lisa Gorlitsky, who sent her 4-year-old to private school this year after getting rejected from the pre-K program. Grolitsky’s 8-year-old was already attending the school.

“I understand [the rejected parents’] frustration. I had the frustration,” she said, noting that making a trip to a second school every day has been “very hard.”

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