CORONA, QUEENS (1010 WINS) – 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.
1010 WINS’ Carol D’Auria reports: Parents Upset With Overcrowding In Schools
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.
“There are not enough bathrooms in the school, they ask why are my kids having lunch at 10 in the morning,” said Ruiz.
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.
EXTRA: List Of Proposed Teacher Layoffs (Excel Document)
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.
Do you think school overcrowding is a problem? Let us know in our comments section…