New York, NY - In response to strong objections raised by State Senator Thomas K. Duane, Assemblymember Brian Kavanagh, other elected officials, and families of affected public school students, the City Department of Education (DOE) has withdrawn its proposal to relocate 80 students from the PS 138 satellite at PS 33 to the building on East 23rd Street that houses the American Sign Language & English Schools and another satellite of PS 138, a school for students with special needs. After personally touring the site with DOE representatives and families of some of the students on February 4th, Duane and Kavanagh concluded that the ASL building was ill-equipped to handle the addition of the 80 students DOE had planned to relocate from their current school, which is co-located with PS 33 at 281 9th Avenue. Of particular concern was the lack of adequate elevators and other facilities to accommodate the additional students, many of whom use wheelchairs.
The proposed relocation was not in the best interests of the school community of either PS 138 or the ASL Schools," said Kavanagh. I am gratified that DOE has heard the voices of the students and their families, and agreed to take this proposal off the table.
I am relieved that DOE has recognized the ASL building is a physically unsuitable home for the special needs children who attend PS 138 at PS 33, said Duane.
The proposal to relocate the PS 138 students from PS 33 to the ASL building was originally prompted by an effort to create additional space on the West Side to relieve overcrowding in another school building at 320 West 21st Street that houses both the Clinton School for Writers and Artists and PS 11.