Ed Dept. plans 50% slash in new seats for students
BY MEREDITH KOLODNER
DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITER
The Education Department's new five-year capital plan will create less than half the number of new seats as the previous one, reflecting the economic meltdown.
The $11.3 billion plan will spend $3.7 billion on 25,000 new seats in 42 new buildings between 2010 and 2014, down from 55,000 between 2004 and 2009.
Overcrowded areas such as Manhattan's upper East Side and Tribeca, Highbridge and Kingsbridge in the Bronx, Sunset Park and Park Slope in Brooklyn and Corona and Elmhurst in Queens are among those slated for new classrooms.
A report released last week by a group called A Better Capital Plan estimated nearly 30,000 new seats were needed to ensure no school was over capacity, but 167,000 were needed to reach goals set as a condition for the city to receive state money. The DOE disputes the report, saying it vastly overestimates the number of new seats needed.
A DOE spokeswoman said some overcrowding problems would be alleviated by rezoning and reconfiguring grades to use underutilized schools more efficiently.
The plan must be passed by the City Council before it can go into effect.