City Hall, November 10th, 2009 – City Council Speaker Christine C. Quinn and Education Committee Chair Robert Jackson today announced that at the Council’s urging, the Bloomberg Administration has agreed to increase the number of new classroom seats in the City’s Five-Year Capital Plan by a total of 5,123. The School Construction Authority outlined their plan to expand school capacity in a proposed amendment to the Capital Plan first made public today.

During negotiations of the Five-Year Capital Plan earlier this year, the City Council repeatedly called for increased capacity at public schools, to better reflect the needs of growing communities. Many of the seats being announced today will be located in School Districts 15, 24, 29 and 30, which have been particularly hard hit by overcrowding in recent years. The seats will not require any new funding, but instead will be paid for by reestimating construction costs and through the reallocation of existing resources.

“We are pleased that the Bloomberg Administration has listened to the Council, and has recognized the desperate need for more school capacity in neighborhoods around the city,” said Speaker Christine C. Quinn. “As we said in the spring, for too long our students have been forced to take tests in a cafeteria, or compete with thirty other students for a teacher’s time and attention. While our work is far from over, the new seats announced today will go a long way towards improving the quality of education in New York City. In the coming months we’ll review the SCA proposal, and look for the most effective ways to reduce overcrowding in all five boroughs.”

“For over a decade, I’ve been pushing the City and State to do more to alleviate overcrowding in our public schools,” said Education Committee Chair Robert Jackson. “Today’s announcement of over 5,000 new classroom seats is a significant step in the right direction. We need to carefully review the details of this proposed amendment, including concerns that the funding used for these seats could delay the construction of other seats elsewhere in the system. But I’m thrilled that the Mayor and Chancellor have heard the voices of New York City parents, and look forward to working with them to expand capacity even further.”

The proposed amendment will now be sent to every district’s Community Education Council, and well as to the City Council, for public comment and review. After evaluating all public feedback, the DOE is expected to release a final amendment in February. The amendment must then be voted on by the Panel for Educational Policy, before coming to the full council for a vote in the spring.

To view the proposed amendment in its entirety, go to: