En Español Know Your Rights
Source: 1010 Wins
Subject: Education Justice
Type: Media Coverage

Parents, Community Leaders Upset With School Overcrowding in Queens

Parents of children in school districts 24 and 30 in Queens say problems with overcrowding have gone too far.

The organization Make the Road New York says the public schools in those neighborhoods of northwest Queens are so bad, the first lunch period is at 9:30am.

Make the Road New York says more than half of the students in that area of the city attend an overcrowded school. Specialty classes like art, music and gym are canceled so those rooms can be used as regular classrooms.

Alejandra Ruiz deals with the educational problems for Make the Road New York and says she gets a lot of complaints from parents about overcrowding.

On Tuesday, parents, advocates and community leaders came together to call for change.

City councilman Daniel Dromm was a teacher in District 24 for 25 years. He said the overcrowding problem has only gotten worse. “We’re looking at locker rooms being used as classrooms,” he said.

Councilwoman Julissa Ferreras attended PS 19 in Corona, one of the most severely overcrowded schools in those districts. Back then, the school was so crowded, her academic classes were held in the gym.

She’s now 34-years-old and says nothing has changed. That’s why she’s joined the fight to end overcrowding.

The Department of Education said it plans to build more schools here but parents say those won’t be ready for five years.

And last week, New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg announced that thousands of New York City teaching jobs could soon be eliminated under a new spending plan.

Around 1,400 positions will go unfilled but 4,600 teachers will be formally laid off. Nine schools will lose up to 70 percent of their teachers while other schools would be untouched.

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