Editorial: Week of January 10

We applaud the city’s decision to create a new elementary school and a new annex to an existing school in District 20.

The two new facilities –included in the Department of Education’s 2010-2014 capital plan — will help ease overcrowding in the district, which encompasses Bay Ridge and Dyker Heights, as well as portions of Bensonhurst, Sunset Park, Boro Park and Kensington.

The district has historically been one of the most overcrowded in New York, with its good schools drawing an increasing number of families into the area. This has presented an ongoing challenge to educators, faced with steadily increasing enrollments as they are trying to reduce class sizes to improve educational outcomes – one reason why the district got more than 5,000 seats during the last capital plan.

The additional 500 or so seats provided by the new schools will meet existing needs in the areas served by the buildings – lower Bay Ridge and Bensonhurst, the former a spanking-new addition to P.S. 170 and the latter the conversion of the old Our Lady of Guadalupe School closed by the Diocese of Brooklyn last year.

Finding space to create new schools is a perennial challenge in southwestern Brooklyn; in the case of District 20, available properties large enough to house a school are few and far between. It is important to snap them up when they become available, as DOE did in the case of OLG.

The department also showed good sense in deciding to repurpose part of the P.S. 170 schoolyard to build an annex; similar arrangements have proved successful elsewhere, with the end result that more students are able to enjoy learning in an environment conducive to it.

Vote yes

Congress overwhelmingly passed $9.7 billion in Sandy aid this past week, but it’s only the beginning.

The money will go towards flood insurance claims for Sandy-damaged homes and businesses; a vote on the remaining $51 billion in storm aid will take place January 15.

We urge every politician to vote yes so that the tri-state area may continue on the long road to recovery.

Each dollar will go towards rebuilding homes, restoring dreams and making lives whole again.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.