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Stringer: DOE Failed To Address Overcrowding In City Schools

Classroom (file/credit: clipart.com)

Classroom (file/credit: clipart.com)

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NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) – New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer says one-third of city schools were overcrowded in 2012 and the Department of Education failed to address the problem effectively.

Stringer said in a report Wednesday that the department didn’t track whether recommendations to reduce overcrowding had been implemented or not.

Stringer: DOE Failed To Address Overcrowding In City Schools

155562796 Stringer: DOE Failed To Address Overcrowding In City Schools
1010 WINS' Al Jones reports

“That is why this audit is so significant because it looks at what wasn’t done. There was no planning, there was no documentation, no formal plan about how to alleviate classroom overcrowding,” Stringer told 1010 WINS. “And I think every parent would agree that class size matters.”

LINK: Read The Full Report

Stringer’s office audited school overcrowding during the 2010-2011 and 2011-2012 school years. The auditors found that overcrowding in elementary schools and middle schools increased slightly during that period.

“The audit covers multiple years and so what’s really clear to us, is that nothing has been done to come up with a plan to deal with this,” Stringer said.

One example is just off the ramps from the Williamsburg Bridge. P.S. 319 is a one-story school meant to house 78 kids in kindergarten and first grade, but instead 186 are jammed inside, 1010 WINS’ Al Jones.

Jeffery Charlton said his son’s classroom was packed.

“They had 30 kids — plus. It affects the kids a lot,” he said.

Stringer’s report highlighted 59 schools that are well over capacity, Jones reported.

“And five schools actually have more than double the amount of students then they should have,” Stringer said.

Stringer said the department should maintain better records on classroom crowding and on the effectiveness of efforts to address the problem.

Schools Chancellor Carmen Farina said the de Blasio administration is working to combat overcrowding. She added that the city’s 2015-2019 capital plan will create tens of thousands of new classroom seats.

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(TM and © Copyright 2014 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2014 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)