The spate of new construction has exacerbated the school overcrowding problem on the West Side has, where children were waitlisted for local public schools. Yet the Department of Education is using flawed metrics to predict the number of new school seats needed in Manhattan over the next decade, according to a report by Borough President Scott Stringer.
Projections by the department and two private consultants show a decline in student population. One consultant, the Grier Partnership in Maryland, shows that the number of students in Manhattan will shrink by 5,131.
Stringer, on the other hand, says that Manhattan will see 8,139 new students when the Department of City Planning’s formula for calculating student population is used. District 3, which covers the West Side and parts of Harlem, will see 902 new students.
While the Department of Education does hire outside consultants for its projections, data from City Planning, the Department of Buildings and the Department of Housing Preservation and Development are used when drafting the plan to build more school seats.
“The Borough President has his facts wrong,” said William Havemann, department spokesman. “Our analysis not only includes forecasts of the city’s student population that are referenced by the borough president but also accounts for data from other city agencies.”
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