Seats Gained and Lost in NYC Schools: The Untold Story

September 21, 2017

Class Size Matters released a new report entitled Seats Gained and Lost in NYC Schools: The Untold Story.  For the first time, this study reveals that more than 50,000 NYC public school seats were eliminated during the decade of 2004 to 2013.

These seat losses, mostly because of lapsed building leases, the removal of trailers and elimination of annexes, were identified using data from the annual NYC Department of Education’s School Capacity and Utilization Reports, known more familiarly as the Blue Books.

Rather than creating net 100,000 seats during this period, as former Mayor Michael Bloomberg claimed, the real figure of net seats was less than half that number — only about 45, 000, when seat loss is taken into account.  Moreover, of the net 45,000 new seats, the vast majority were filled by charter school students in public school buildings, with only 2,357 net seats filled by district public school students during that time.

These findings help explain the increasing overcrowding that has plagued New York City schools, especially in the elementary grades, with the number of overcrowded elementary school buildings increasing by 17 percent and the number of students in these buildings increasing by 29 percent between 2004 and 2012.  In fully half of all districts, elementary school buildings lost net capacity during this period.  Of the 19 districts that experience growth in elementary school enrollment, in only three districts did the net new capacity exceed growth: in districts 2, 11, and 22.

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Categories Reports & Memos, Uncategorized | Tags: | Posted on October 2, 2017

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