There are over 3100 kids waitlisted for kindergartens at New York City’s public schools. They come from all over the city, from all walks of life. Most kindergarten spots are awarded by lottery, so it is literally luck of the draw whether you get your pick of schools or not.
Here’s one thing most of those waitlisted kids don’t have: a twin.
According to the New York Times, twins get a double shot at precious kindergarten spots.
Schools have long had sibling preference policies. If you admit one child, you also admit the siblings from that family. The trick is that with twins (or triplets, or quadruplets, or etc…) the siblings come in all at once. That means that each child has a double chance in the school’s entry lottery: one kid getting picked means they both get in.
That may be why there are so many entering the most prized schools. Sought after PS107 in Park Slope has 9 sets of twins coming into its kindergarten class this coming fall. Only one set of twins applied and did not get in to the school.
It may also just be an aberration. PS 107 has never had so many twins before, their principal says. They have a waitlist of over 50 kids. If the twins were out of the picture, it wouldn’t be much shorter.
Still, the way the lottery and sibling preferences work might seem like an unfair advantage for twins. They may be double trouble for their parents, but they also have double the luck when it comes to getting a shot at the school of their choice.
Does it seem fair to you? Should siblings automatically be admitted to the same school? I think the advantages of keeping sibs together outweigh any slight unfairness, but I don’t have kids in the New York public school system.