New Legislation Leads to SCA Disclosing Methods for New School Buildings

City Council’s new legislation seeks to combat overcrowded New York City Schools through new efficient methods in choosing new school building projects. On September 12, 2018, the City Council announced it will require the School Construction Authority to disclose how it evaluates the location and time frame of new schools being built. City Council Member Ben Kallos authored the measure, Introduction 729, in response to overcrowding in New York City public elementary and middle schools and the City’s plans to build fewer school seats. This legislation intends to make the Department of Education and the School Construction Authority more transparent in their decisions, and create accountability.

In addition to Introduction 729, the Local Law 72 of 2018 requires granular reporting on the number of applications that are accepted or turned away, and where in the City they ultimately attend schools to evaluate actual versus projected enrollment needs. The City Council believes these two pieces of legislation will address overcrowding by exposing how enrollment need is assessed. Both pieces of legislation will help identify where the greatest need for more schools is and where the School Construction Authority has created overcrowding.

Council Member Ben Kallos has been advocating since 2015 for the building of school seats, focusing heavily on how the School Construction Authority anticipates need.

“We need more school seats,” said Council Member Ben Kallos. “With elementary schools at 106% capacity citywide, I have concerns about how the City is determining how many school seats we need. I’m grateful SCA has partnered with the Council and myself to provide us and the public with needed information so we can work together to solve this problem and end overcrowding in our schools.”


By: Samantha Albanese (Samantha is a CityLaw Intern and a New York Law School Student, Class of 2019.)


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