Vito LaBella, president of the Christa McAuliffe Parent Teacher Organization, said that if parents decide to forge ahead, the federal suit would challenge this set-aside plan. “It’s discriminatory,” he said. “I do believe our children would no longer be allowed to partake in Discovery.”
Currently the small Discovery program is available to disadvantaged applicants citywide. The mayor says he can make this change because the 1971 law on admissions at these high schools allows for a Discovery program of some sort.
I.S. 87 Christa McAuliffe, a highly selective public school in the Borough Park neighborhood, has been a strong feeder to specialized high schools. With roughly 900 students, about 36% of its eighth-graders headed to Stuyvesant High School, 20% to Brooklyn Technical High School, and 20% to Staten Island Technical High School, according to city data for the 2016-17 school year.
That year, 67% of the school’s students were Asian, 26% were white, 6% were Hispanic and 1% were black.