SCHOOL CROWDING HEADED FOR CRISIS

Written by admin on . Posted in Opinion and Column.


To the Editor:
Dan Rivoli’s article, “No Room to Learn” (Sept. 11), highlighted verbally and pictorially what many families face on the East Side regarding the scarcity of seats in the local schools.
I am a resident of Community District 8 and live one block east of P.S. 290 and within 15 minutes walking distance from P.S. 198, P.S. 6, P.S. 158 and P.S. 183. All these schools were depicted as being over capacity.
As condominiums are being built and city officials talk about adding seats through zone restructuring and capital projects, Mr. Rivoli stated the Upper East Side would receive only 544 seats through the $6.5 billion state funding over the next four years.
What concerns me is that state officials and City Council members have not anticipated future student growth on the Upper East Side. Excluding the apartment units being developed, I cannot walk in my neighborhood without seeing babies, toddlers and pregnant women in their third trimester. By the time additional seats are added, there may be hundreds of new students filling Pre-K to 3rd grade registers.
I hope that Council Member Jessica Lappin is successful in increasing school seats on the East Side. However, with new residential buildings being built and more students becoming eligible for public schools within the next four years, I fear that any increase in the supply of seats will be insufficient to meet the growing demand for the schools in Community District 8.
There is the unfortunate likelihood that the five public schools mentioned earlier may face a more dismal situation as more students bring these already over-capacity schools to the brink.

Daniel M. Wolkenfeld
East 82nd Street

Letters have been edited for style and brevity.

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