Monday, July 21, 2008

Congresswoman Maloney Battles Bloomberg Administration Over School Crowding

While the mayor and chancellor were off in Washington seeking to burnish their images as school reformers, their poor management of the school capacity crisis was drawing sharp criticism here from a Manhattan Congressional representative.

Last Monday, at a meeting called by Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney, a broad array of Manhattan elected representatives pressed Deputy Mayor Dennis Walcott for action on the growing school capacity crisis in Manhattan. The meeting had taken three months to arrange due to the refusal of the administration to meet. But Maloney has been determined to hold the Bloomberg administration accountable. As Maloney told the The Villager newspaper who covered last week's meeting:

“When you’re constantly called to task, you can’t be telling people that you won’t meet with them,” she said of D.O.E.

Maloney explained that the flurry of action is what happens “when it gets to the point where you can’t walk down the street or go to church without your constituents coming up to you and saying it’s overcrowded,” noting that two-thirds of schools in the district were above capacity.

At a press conference held today at PS 116 with parents and lcoal electeds, Maloney cited how rampant residential development in the area has outstripped school capacity. While the mayor and chancellor travel the nation trumpeting their "successes", Manhattan parents have been left to contemplate 10:20 am lunches, kindergartens of 28, lost cluster rooms and shuttered G&T programs.

See story here on NY1 and press release here. Also the Daily News article: Protest vs. school crowding.

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