On Tuesday, MRNY released a new report documenting the affects of severe overcrowding in Queens public schools. Read more in the New York Times.
More than half of the students attending public school in northwest Queens are suffering from overcrowded conditions. Community School Districts 24 and 30 serve the fastest growing population of immigrants in New York City, yet many schools are hundreds of students above their intended capacity. At PS 19 in Corona, portable classrooms installed 16 years ago are still in use and now house more than double the amount of students they were intended to.
Due to the overcrowding, some children have to eat lunch as early as 9:30 in the morning and spend the afternoon hungry and unable to concentrate. Other students have to choose between eating and using the bathroom during lunch because there is no time for both. Many schools further lack proper space and materials for gym and music classes, science laboratories and libraries.
Make the Road New York is organizing parents and students to speak out against these deplorable conditions and demand new school construction in these overwhelmed districts. In a time of severe budget cuts and teacher layoffs, it is imperative that we preserve the most basic rights of our students to receive a good education in a healthy environment.