City to halve new school construction plans

March 22, 2011 09:24AM

The city’s School Construction Authority has proposed a $9.3 billion budget that would slash the number of new schools it planned to build by 2014 from 56 to 26, the New York Times reported. The budget, which is expected to pass the Panel for Education Policy tomorrow and will then move onto the City Council for final approval, would mean only 14,000 new spots for students, as opposed to the roughly 28,000 that had been approved by the City Council last year. Between 2005 and 2009, there were $13 billion worth of school construction projects in the city — thanks to the state’s offer to match the city’s construction financing for schools. But Gov. Andrew Cuomo has proposed a state limit of $2 billion in school construction projects this year, around half of which would be funneled into New York City. Still, that’s more than the state’s contribution last year, and Cuomo’s office says the city’s cuts to new schools is the result of its own choices, like the decision to spend $180 million more on technology. Among the projects to be delayed by the funding cuts are the new school planned for part of the Foundling Hospital in Chelsea and the new gymnasium and classrooms with space for 120 students at P.S. 87 in Middle Village, Queens. [NYT]