Assemblymember Brian Kavanagh, State Senator Daniel Squadron, Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer, other elected officials, and public school parents announced legislation on March 7th that would help prevent school overcrowding and improve long-term planning for New York City schools.
The bill, based on recommendations from a report by Stringer, would include:
- More accurate projections: The Department of Education (DOE) would be required to consider birth-rate projections from the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene and population projections from the Department of City Planning when drawing school districts and zoning lines and when constructing its five-year capital plan.
- Transparency in planning: School siting plans would have to publicize the data used to project student populations, and DOE would have to address how each siting plan would respond to projected population changes.
- A stronger voice for the public: DOE would have to make public all comments it receives in response to its school siting plans and five-year capital plan, and would be required respond to those comments.
“Kindergarteners weren’t born yesterday, so by the time they’re old enough to go to school, there ought to be enough time to plan adequate space in our schools to educate them,” said Kavanagh. “The legislation proposed today recognizes that planning ahead and involving public school families and the public in the process are the surest ways to alleviate the overcrowding that makes it harder for our children to learn in many schools throughout the city.”