Public School Choice



The Public School Choice (PSC) program gives families of students who attend an eligible lower-performing school an opportunity to request a transfer to a school in good standing starting the following school year. Priority is given to the lowest-performing and lowest income students.

The New York State Education Department (NYSED) and the New York City Department of Education (NYCDOE) determine which students can participate in the Public School Choice (PSC) Program. This year, students are eligible to request a PSC transfer if they attend a school in one of the following categories:

1. Focus or Priority: NYSED identifies schools as Focus or Priority if they are among the lowest performing statewide in terms of overall performance, graduation rate, and/or other criteria.

2. Phase Out: NYCDOE decides which schools should phase out due to low performance and/or low demand. Phase out is a process of gradual closure over a two- to three-year period.

Fifth grade students enrolled at a K-5 school, eighth grade students, and high school seniors on track to graduate in June 2015 are not eligible to apply for a transfer.

Last year, 6,662 families applied for transfers through the Public School Choice process. Citywide, there were 12,015 available seats, and 4,848 students received a transfer offer to a school in good standing.

For more information about New York State (NYS) Accountability, please visit the NYS Office of Accountability.

Persistently Dangerous Schools

The New York City Department of Education (NYCDOE) is committed to providing the best education and a safe learning environment to all students. Schools identified as Persistently Dangerous Schools (PDS) must present a plan to the New York State Education Department (NYSED) for reducing incidents and increasing safety.

Under the federal No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 (NCLB), students enrolled at schools designated Persistently Dangerous have the opportunity to request a transfer to a school that is NOT persistently dangerous. The Office of Student Enrollment (OSE) offers transfer programs to students where transfer options exist.


Students attending schools that are designated as "persistently dangerous" are eligible for an opportunity to transfer. Schools are designated persistently dangerous if they have two successive years of serious incidents that meet or exceed criteria established by the NYSED. Eligible families will be mailed a notification letter to their homes in September.  


Frequently Asked Questions

Am I required to transfer my child?

No. Students are not required to transfer, but must be offered the opportunity to do so. If parents are satisfied with the school, they may not want to transfer their child to a new school. The Department of Education encourages parent collaboration in developing a school plan to reduce violence by addressing specific safety concerns.

Do I get to choose my transfer school? How are transfer offers determined?

Students are offered a transfer if there is an appropriate placement available for the child. No child is given priority over other similarly situated student participants in the Public School Choice program for Persistently Dangerous Schools. Transfer offers are based on seat availability and are not guaranteed.

If my child requires special programs or has an IEP, what transfer options exist?

There are transfer opportunities available for schools with special programs throughout the city. IEP services will be provided at any school identified as an appropriate placement for your child. When considering whether to apply for a transfer, parents should weigh the distance that a student may have to travel to attend a different program against the level of satisfaction with the student’s current program. Parents may wish to contact their current school principal and/or parent coordinator directly to ask questions about the school’s designation and to discuss how they are addressing specific concerns.