2017-04-19 / Features

PEP To Vote On DOE $15 Billion Capital Plan Tonight

BY RICHARD GENTILVISO

The citywide Panel for Educational Policy (PEP) will meet at Long Island City High School tonight, April 19, at 6 p.m., to vote on a proposed $15.5 billion amendment to the Department of Education’s (DOE) five-year capital plan (2015 to 2019).

The five-year capital plan includes funding for the acquisition of new school sites, and for the design and construction of new building projects in the school system. DOE determines the number and size of schools to be built and renovated under the auspices of the School Construction Authority (SCA). Capital spending allows for the expansion and rehabilitation of existing schools and building of new schools.

The plan includes $5.9 billion for capacity, $4.5 billion of which is for new capacity. It also includes $800 million for the Pre- K Initiative, $490 million for Class Size Reduction and $142 million for the Facility Replacement Program.

The new capacity allocation of $4.5 billion funds design and construction of 41,723 seats and design for an additional 2,601 seats bringing the total new seats proposed 44,324 citywide. Pre-kindergarten seats will be increased by more than 8,300.

Every year, the five-year capital plan is amended through a public review process that includes Community Education Councils, Community Boards, City Council borough delegations, and other elected officials. It is typically released in February for approval by the PEP, which then forwards it to the mayor and the City Council.

Also on the agenda is a proposal to finally move P.S. 255 out from space occupied in 11 Transportable Classroom Units (TCU) at P.S. 151 to permanent space about a mile away at a former parochial school, Most Precious Blood, beginning with the 2017- 2018 school year and a projected enrollment of 94-104 students. Both schools are within District 30.

There is a pre-K center currently in operation at the Most Precious Blood site and P.S. 255 would share gym, schoolyard and cafeteria space with the pre-K program.

The move will also allow for the removal of the Transportable Classroom Units from P.S. 151, The Mary D. Carter School at 50-05 31st Ave. in Woodside, which also serves kindergarten through fifth grade and has a pre-K program.

P.S. 255 is a District 75 school, serving students in kindergarten through 5th grade and a pre-K program with classifications of autism or intellectual disability and is projected to have 17 sections of students in self-contained 6:1:1 and 8:1:1 classroom settings (ratio of students: teacher: paraprofessional) in their new location at 32-52 37th Street.

Students are placed in District 75 programs based on their individual needs and recommended special education services and may be served in this program throughout the course of their education. The five-year capital plan includes funding for the acquisition of new school sites, and for the design and construction of new building projects in the school system. DOE determines the number and size of schools to be built and renovated under the auspices of the School Construction Authority (SCA). Capital spending allows for the expansion and rehabilitation of existing schools and building of new schools.

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