NEW YORK—The School year will be starting up again soon, and families with students at P.S. 116 are concerned about overcrowding. Concerned officials and parents gathered together on Monday to demand the City Department of Education (DOE) take action on overcrowding at the East midtown grade school.
Elected officials and the DOE had already discussed the issue of the school’s overcrowding problem throughout the NYC Public School’s 2nd District on July 14, but the DOE didn’t give any clear plan as to how resolve the problem.
“Next year, P.S. 116 will have nearly 100 more students than the building is designed to hold.” said Carolyn B. Maloney, the U.S. Congressional Representative for New York's 14th District. With more families moving to Manhattan, it is increasingly contributing to the growing crisis of overcrowded schools, which are currently operating at a 113 percent capacity.
At present, there are about 3,000 new housing units and about 40 high-rise buildings being built around the neighborhood appealing to families, making attendees fretful that the situation will get worse.
“This is a good school and has a lot of great programs such as the science program, art program, library, etc.”said Peggyann Grainger, a mother of a fourth grade child attending the “NYC Pols & Parents Urge Action on Overcrowding at P.S. 116 meeting. “With the school overcrowding problem going on, I am concerned with the risk of losing all of these great things”
“It’s time to reform the DOE to work with parents and teachers on real short-term solutions to this crisis, and it’s time to reform the City’s broken planning process that has gotten us in this crisis.” said Manhattan Borough President Scott M. Stringer.
According to the Grier Partnership 2005 report on NYC school Construction Authority for District 2, P.S. 116 is expected to increase its enrollment by 9.1 percent during 2004-2009, and about 24 percent throughout 2004-2014. This currently makes P.S. 116 the school facing the highest enrollment rate in the city.
According to Graigner, there used to be 18 students in each class in P.S. 116, but now there are 25.
“The students and families at P.S. 116 have put up with the overcrowding for far too long.” said Assembly Member Brian Kavanagh.