In the busy week leading up to the start of the school year, a study found that city Department of Education phones went unanswered nearly half the time.
According to theNew York Post, family advocates at 16 out of the 34 school-district offices did not answer their phones or return messages left on voice mail when called last week by Post reporters.
The offices were in Brooklyn, the Bronx, Manhattan and Queens. The paper said phone lines at East Harlem District 4 office rang with no answer all four times over three days.
"I'm not surprised," said former Public Advocate Betsy Gotbaum. "For some reason, they're not answering, and it's really not fair because parents need to have a place to go," she told the paper.
But when reporters did get to speak to a person, the advice was generally helpful. Advocates at nine offices in each borough picked up the phone and gave helpful answers to questions about enrollment last week, while at another five offices, voice-mail messages were promptly returned, the Post said.