Graduation Date

Fall 12-13-2019

Grading Professor

Jarrett Murphy

Subject Concentration

Urban Reporting

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


More than half of New York City’s 1.1 million students attend an over-utilized school, where the number of students enrolled exceeds the official capacity. But for years, the School Construction Authority has been slow to identify and acquire sites to build new schools. When City Council ordered a task force to review nearly 30,000 potential sites, the SCA excluded parent representatives from the analysis process, then reported that only two sites could potentially be used for schools. Though the SCA contracts with commercial real estate brokers to identify sites, the agency has declined to specify how many sites the brokers have found, and parents and community board members say they're the ones finding most new sites. With a sustained public lobbying campaign and the efforts of the local council member, Sunset Park succeeded in securing five sites for new schools which are currently under construction. But in the Northwest Bronx, schools have swelled with the growing student population while few new seats have been added to the district, even as former Catholic school buildings sit empty. With the DOE eyes turned toward new diversity and integration plans, and the Mayor's office focused on adding public pre-K seats, advocates find there is little political appetite for addressing the perennial issue of insufficient spaces for students to learn.

School Sites by Reason for Removal.png (61 kB)
Pie chart of sites reviewed by School Siting Task Force according to reason for removal



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