Tuesday, April 18, 2023

Tell DOE & PEP NO! on cutting 22,000 funded school seats out of the capital plan


Updated 4.18.23

The Panel for Educational Policy will be voting this Wed. night, April 18 on the February proposed amendment to the capital plan which would cut more than $2.2 billion from the plan, completely eliminating more than 11,000 new school seats and moving another 11,000 seats into the category of “funded for design only,” compared to the plan adopted in June 2021.  That’s a cut of 38% in the number of new seats.

These radical cuts make no sense, especially given the fact that more than 300,000 students are enrolled in overcrowded schools, and the new class size law that comes into effect next fall will require more space not less to lower class size.  Instead, the capital plan should be expanded rather than contracted. Amazingly, the capital plan in more than 800 pages never mentions the new state class size law once.

See how many seats are being cut out of your district in the chart here  and below. If your district isn’t mentioned, that means NO NEW seats are planned for your district.

Send a letter today to urge the PEP to vote NO on these massive cuts to the capital plan; deadline to send your letter to be incorporated into the public comment summary is  6:00 p.m. on April 18, 2023.  We suggest you copy the members of the PEP below.  Suggested language is also below; but please change the title and add as much info as you can about the overcrowding in your child’s school or class.

Please also consider speaking at tomorrow’s PEP meeting about the need to expand rather than cut the capital plan; you can mention the crowded conditions at your child’s school and whether they have the space to lower class size. You can sign up to speak starting tomorrow Wed. at 5:30 PM at https://www.learndoe.org/pep/apr19.  

To capitalplan@schools.nyc.gov;

CC: ABogad@schools.nyc.gov; aong3@schools.nyc.govgward7@schools.nyc.gov ; gregfaulkner1@gmail.com; agreen419@gmail.com ; GChacon@schools.nyc.gov; ksalasramirez@schools.nyc.gov;  msapp@schools.nyc.gov; MKenley@schools.nyc.gov; MDienstag@schools.nyc.gov; naveed@cs.columbia.edu; PSadearnold@schools.nyc.gov; sgibson11@schools.nyc.gov; tazad4@schools.nyc.gov; TSheppard5@schools.nyc.gov; jlee235@schools.nyc.gov;michellewjoseph1@gmail.com; Lilly.chan@revlon.com; Khari.edwards@gmail.com; Effiz4@yahoo.com; Anthony_giordano@yahoo.com; avazgarcia@gmail.com; cabrera.chantel@gmail.com

The Feb. 2023 amendment to the capital plan proposes to cut more than $2.2 billion and 22,000 funded school seats from compared to the plan adopted in June 2021.  This is completely unacceptable, and I urge you to vote no.  If adopted, this will make the challenge of complying with the new state class size law difficult if not impossible to achieve.  There is no mention of the new class size law in the capital plan, an omission which in itself is unacceptable.

The new state law requires NYC to begin reducing class size next fall, and within five years, all classes throughout the city are supposed to adhere to much smaller limits.   More than 300,000 students are currently crammed into overcrowded schools, so if NYC students are to be provided with their right to smaller classes within the time frame established by the law, the capital plan should instead be immediately expanded and accelerated.  It takes about five years to site and build a school in NYC, so there is no time to waste.

Yours sincerely, —-name, address, parent/teacher at what school

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