Legislation will help parents plan for their child’s educational future
New York, NY- Today, the City Council will vote on legislation that will require the Department of Education (DOE) to report annually to the Council on school capacity and utilization in schools. The Council’s bill will allow for more transparency regarding the types of spaces school buildings contain, allowing parents to make more informed choices regarding school enrollment.
SCHOOLS F.A.C.T. ACT (FACILITY ACCOUNTABILITY CAPACITY TRANSPARENCY)
The Council will vote on legislation that will require the Chancellor to report to the City Council on an annual basis, starting in November 2013, on the usage of certain instructional and non- instructional spaces within school buildings. The report will include information on the total number and square footage of rooms used for academic intervention services, instruction in the arts and computers, libraries, occupational or physical therapy, school-based support teams, testing accommodations for students with disabilities, health clinics, physical fitness space and non-school organization occupancy. The report will also indicate whether or not a room is shared by multiple schools, and whether or not non-instructional space, such as hallways and stairways, are used for instruction. This data will now reflect utilization citywide, as well as by school district, council district and borough.
“This legislation will allow parents and school communities to know how the space in their schools is being used,” said City Council Speaker Christine C. Quinn. “This transparent process will better inform parents of the options available to their children in a particular school and encourage greater communication between DOE and school communities.”
“I thank the Speaker, and the many advocates and parents for their leadership and steadfast support in bringing Intro 155-A to fruition,” said Committee on Education Chair Robert Jackson. “Since the start of my fight as co-founder of the Campaign for Fiscal Equity, I have maintained that our children are getting neither the quality education nor the quality learning environment they deserve. The courts agreed with me. Intro 155-A will provide greater transparency and more detailed information including the real number of classrooms and special instructional spaces in the building.”