Send a letter to Congress about the need for funds to repair, modernize and build new schools!

Aug. 9, 2021

Dear all —

1.       At this point it is uncertain as to whether Congress will include funds for school construction, repair and upgrades in their infrastructure reconciliation package, even though the need for ventilation and social distancing in our classrooms is more critical than ever. The American Society of Civil Engineers gave school infrastructure a D+, while a US GAO survey found that more than half of all districts needed to update or replace multiple buildings. Too many schools are extremely overcrowded, and in NYC alone, nearly half a million students are packed into schools at or over 100%. It makes no sense to provide funds to expand preK, as this federal package does, without helping to provide more space for it, or else this will worsen school overcrowding and increase class size.

Please send a message to your members of Congress today, by clicking here, to urge them to include at least $100 billion in the infrastructure reconciliation package for school construction, modernization and repair.

2.       Speaking of overcrowding, the DOE finally admitted there is not enough space in many NYC public schools to provide any sort of social distancing next year, after months of pretending that only a small number of schools would be unable to do so. Of course, the DOE has done nothing to help schools acquire more space or hire more teachers to make this a reality. For those schools that do have space but not enough staff, the CSA sent around a message last night saying principals should ask DOE for additional funds to hire more teachers.

Parents and teachers, please ask your principals if there is any plan for social distancing next year, and if there’s space but not enough staffing, urge them to demand that DOE provide more funds for them to lower class size.  More on this issue is here, including a list of the 73 “Tier one” schools that the DOE originally admitted had no room for social distancing, which we got from a confidential source. We also have talking points for School Leadership Teams, as well as individual parents and teachers to advocate for smaller classes, that includes information on what funds are available to do so, in English and in Spanish.

3.       Chalkbeat reported on a data breach that exposed the personal information of 3,000 students and about 100 school staff. Though the article just mentioned District 28 as being affected, we know that students in other districts had their data breached as well. What is still unknown is how many schools were affected, what personal student data elements were released, and when this breach occurred. The regulations for the NY student privacy law require that all this information be included in notifications to affected families. Parents, please ask your principals if any of the students in your school were affected, and if so, ask them for a copy of the letter that was sent to families. And let us know if you get any answers and/or the copy of the letter by emailing

4.   Finally, the last C4E borough hearing was Thursday night. If you want to know what happened, check out my blog, My comments last night on the sham C4E process and proposed “plan”, and what Lindsey Oates of DOE said in response . Please also send your own comments to as soon as you can.

But send your letter to Congress first!

thanks, Leonie

Categories Newsletters, Uncategorized, Updates | Tags: | Posted on August 10, 2021

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