Chancellor Carranza Announces Record $17 Billion Proposed Capital Plan From Harlem To Hollis

November 1, 2018

Schools Chancellor Richard A. Carranza and School Construction Authority President and CEO Lorraine Grillo today unveiled the largest proposed school capital plan ever—$17 billion over five years.

These funds advances the city’s Equity and Excellence for All agenda by making unprecedented investments in our school buildings and facilities.‎

The proposed plan includes $750 million for accessibility initiatives and dedicates $8.8 billion for capacity projects, including funding for 57,000 seats over the next five years, meeting the administration’s commitment to create 83,000 seats citywide. The plan accelerates the capital funding dedicated to the Mayor’s AC for All initiative, which will allow the city to provide air conditioning to all classrooms by 2021, one year early. The plan also dedicates $230 million to continue to remove Transportable Classroom Units (TCU’s), $750 million towards improving internet bandwidth and technology at schools and $550 million for new Pre-K and 3-K centers.

“It’s my mission to ensure that every student from every zip code has access to an excellent education,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio. “These new investments will allow more families to send their kids to Pre-K and 3-K, improve building accessibility, and accelerate the installation of air conditioning in schools across the city. These investments are critical to helping our students achieve success in the classroom and beyond.”

“This Capital Plan represents another major step towards Equity and Excellence for all. From new seats to more accessible buildings and air conditioning in every classroom, we’re making sure that our students have the resources they need to succeed,” said Schools Chancellor Richard A. Carranza. “I thank Mayor de Blasio and Lorraine Grillo for their continued leadership, partnership, and commitment to meeting the needs of our students. I also want to thank Speaker Johnson and the City Council for their partnership to improve accessibility and create seats across the city.”

“Our proposed Capital Plan will create tens of thousands of new seats, reduce overcrowding, and increase accessibility for our students and families with disabilities,” said SCA President & CEO, Lorraine Grillo. “I thank Mayor de Blasio and Schools Chancellor Carranza for their partnership and collaboration as we continue to invest in high quality-schools and school buildings.”

“Investing in our children’s futures is one of the best steps we can take as a city. This $17 billion capital plan would provide the city’s students with improved technology and resources to study and thrive. The Council is proud to have advocated for many of the initiatives in this capital plan, including seat capacity and school accessibility projects. Access for students with disabilities is a top priority for this Council, and we are happy to have fought for this funding that will serve all students. With this $17 billion investment, students will now have the ability to succeed all year round and overcome more obstacles. I thank Mayor de Blasio, Chancellor Carranza and President Grillo for their leadership. The Council looks forward to working with the Department of Education and School Construction Authority on the school capital program and put our students’ needs first,” said City Council Speaker Corey Johnson.

“As Chair of the NYS Assembly Education committee I am so pleased to see New York City fund the removal of trailers” said Assemblywoman Catherine Nolan, Chair, Committee on Education. “No child should go to school in substandard conditions and in NYC this was tolerated for too long. The $300 million dollar state commitment from the Smart Schools Bond Act will make a real difference in children’s lives.”

“Updating our city’s stock of aging school buildings can help address some of the most significant challenges facing our school system,” said Council Member Mark Treyger, Chair, Committee on Education. “From increasing accessibility to alleviating overcrowding, from making our schools safer and more comfortable to equipping them with modern, 21st century infrastructure, this is a good starting point as we chart the course for future investments in our physical educational spaces.”

“The Five-Year Capital Plan includes city-wide victories for expansion of pre-K, installing air conditioning in every school, and making sure that no classroom is overcrowded. It also includes significant wins for our community, including $60 million to construct a brand new UPK-5th grade elementary school in Court Square, as well as secured funding for new schools in Long Island City, Woodside, and Sunnyside,” said Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer.

“We called for a major investment in school accessibility, and this Administration listened,” said Kim Sweet, Executive Director of Advocates for Children. “The Mayor and Chancellor are proposing a substantial capital investment to make a third of schools in every district fully accessible over the next five years. With fewer than 20% of NYC’s public schools now fully accessible to students, parents, and educators with physical disabilities, this commitment will literally open doors to inclusion and integration for people who are too often excluded.”

“By improving accessibility, continuing to address overcrowding, upgrading school facilities and improving bandwidth, we’re advancing equity and excellence in our schools. This Capital Plan is an example of the terrific interagency coordination that is a hallmark of Mayoral control, and I thank Mayor de Blasio, Chancellor Carranza, SCA President Lorraine Grillo, OMB Director Melanie Hartzog, and the Department of City Planning for their support in developing this proposal,” said Deputy Chancellor for School Planning and Development Karin Goldmark.

Expanded Accessibility Program

The proposed Capital Plan calls for a $750 million investment in an expanded accessibility program, compared to roughly $178 million in the previous plan. This added investment will ensure that one-third of all school buildings in every district are fully accessible, and that 50% of elementary school buildings are partially or fully accessible.

Increasing Capacity and Reducing Overcrowding

The proposed Capital Plan calls for $8.8 billion to be spent on increasing capacity that will fund nearly 57,000 seats. This fulfills the administration’s commitment to creating 83,000 new seats. We expect to create roughly 88 new school buildings as a result of this plan.

Air Conditioning for All

In May 2017, Mayor de Blasio ‎announced AC for All, an initiative to install air conditioning in all classrooms by 2022. As a result of the initiative, there is currently air conditioning in 80 percent of classrooms in the 2018-19 school year.

This capital funding will now be allocated earlier to allow the DOE to accelerate the electrical upgrades needed to install air conditioners. This means the City will reach its goal by 2021, one year early.

Additional Projects

The plan also calls for:

  • $230 million to continue to remove TCU’s across the City, including through the addition of new capacity
  • $750 million in IT capital projects will be used towards increased internet bandwidth in schools, along with cybersecurity upgrades;
  • $550 million to create new Pre-K and 3-K seats across the City;
  • An additional $650 million towards lab upgrades, cafeteria, kitchens, emergency repairs

After a public comment period, a revised Capital plan will be sent to the Panel for Educational Policy for approval at its meeting in March. Then, it will be submitted to the Mayor and City Council for adoption. The Capital Plan for FY 2020-24 is the fourth of its kind since 2005. The Capital Plan is reviewed each year and adjusted to address needs to ensure a safe and comfortable learning environment for students, staff, teachers and administrators in New York City’s public schools.

The proposed Capital Plan is aligned to the Mayor and Chancellor’s Equity and Excellence for All agenda. Together, the Equity and Excellence for All initiatives are building a pathway to success in college and careers for all students. Our schools are starting earlier – free, full-day, high-quality education for three-year-olds and four-year-olds through 3-K for All and Pre-K for All. They are strengthening foundational skills and instruction earlier – Universal Literacy so that every student is reading on grade level by the end of 2nd grade; and Algebra for All to improve elementary- and middle-school math instruction and ensure that all 8th graders have access to algebra. They are offering students more challenging, hands-on, college and career-aligned coursework – Computer Science for All brings 21st-century computer science instruction to every school, and AP for All will give all high school students access to at least five Advanced Placement courses. Along the way, they are giving students and families additional support through College Access for All, Single Shepherd, and investment in Community Schools. Efforts to create more diverse and inclusive classrooms, including Equity & Excellence for All: Diversity in New York City Public Schools are central to this pathway.

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