We have plenty of resources to do the job in NYC. We are not living in
We would have solved this problem long ago if the business elite sent their kids to public schools rather than sitting in box seats in Yankee stadium.
While saying there’s no room, the city is still selling off a perfectly good school building that could house 1,000 high school students for $1 in
Few parochial schools have been leased by DOE. Meanwhile the city has a $4-5 billion surplus, like last year, and only a small percentage of these funds could leverage double the no. of schools and new seats to be created over the next four years.
See this chart: how many seats created over the last four years:
See also from the OMB financial plan at http://www.nyc.
The chart shows city spending on capital needs for schools is now and projected to be a much smaller level for the next four years than we spent during the last year of Giuliani administration, despite a higher reimbursement rate from the state (now over 50% compared to only 30% then) and a $4 billion city surplus.
Also since the year 2000, a much smaller overall percentage of the city’s capital spending overall has gone into schools – even though in 1998, the city comptroller said that this was the neediest and most underinvested portion of the city’s infrastructure.
To reduce class size in all grades, we need at least 120,000 new seats to do the job while creating only about 63,000 – with 3,000 seats actually cut from the new capital plan.
Don’t tell me it’s impossible – all it takes is cash and commitment. LA is planning to create 180,000 new seats and has only 2/3 of our enrollment and no billion dollar budget surpluses.
See also the same OMB document, p. 9 for the amount of
A simple calculation on the Bloomberg mortgage calculator shows that to fund another $4 billion to double the number of seats created over the next four years – which would be sufficient to reduce class sizes in all grades, we would need to add only $288 million in annual city spending -- less than 1/3 the amount that Bloomberg now wants to cut taxes by for next year.
The sad fact is that our kids are getting shortchanged because we are stuck with an administration that doesn’t give a damn – and too many others are letting them off the hook by wrongly assuming that the situation as somehow unchangeable and outside of anyone’s ability to challenge.
Given that the state now reimburses more than 50% of everything we spend on new school construction, in order to create about 120,000 new seats over the next four years, enough to eliminate overcrowding and reduce class size in every part of the city, this would only cost about $144 million in additional city funds – only about 1/7 the amount that Bloomberg proposes to cuts taxes by next year.
If anyone still thinks we don’t have the resources to do this, explain why.
Class Size Matters
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