Spano calls for new Yonkers school construction

2

YONKERS — Building new schools in areas with the fastest-growing student populations would cut busing costs and free up funds for construction, Assemblyman Mike Spano said today.

The Democratic mayoral candidate was scheduled to announce his education capital plan alongside city teachers’ union officials at 2:30 p.m. outside School 22 on Nepperhan Avenue.

Spano will face Republican City Councilman John Murtagh and civil engineer Carlo Calvi, a former county legislator and city councilman, in the Nov. 8 election.

Click below to read the full press release on Spano’s school-building plan.

Yonkers Mayoral candidate Mike Spano said today he will propose an education capital plan to build new schools nearer the City’s growth in school population, using the savings in busing to help offset the costs.

“The City spends more than $1700 per year per student to take them back and forth to schools on buses,” said Spano, “We will never eliminate the need for bus transportation, but we can reduce our reliance on it by putting new schools closer to the children who use them.”

Spano noted that the City has not built a new school in nearly a decade, even though enrollment continues to grow. He said a new school construction program would not only provide for smaller class sizes and a better educational system at reduced costs, but would also create new construction jobs.

“We need to implement a capital program that will build state of the art schools, which are energy efficient to reduce operating costs, and which are located near student populations to reduce transportation costs,” said Spano, adding, “We are also likely to increase parent involvement in the schools by having better facilities closer to the families that are using them.”

Spano noted that the $1,700 per year cost of transportation per student is more than twice the yearly $769 cost of debt service per student. “That reinforces the notion that an increase in debt service for new school construction that would be offset by a reduction in transportation costs,” said Spano, “We spend twice the money sending students across town than we might spend to put them in newer schools that they can walk to.”

Pat Puleo, President of the Yonkers Federation of Teachers, said, “The learning environment of our students is paramount to creating a safe and enriching educational school system for their future.”

“We need to be smarter about how we spend our education dollars,” said Spano, “I believe the School District, teachers, and parents would all favor a well-designed school construction program for the next four years.”

Spano said a well-designed construction program will not replace magnet schools, which provide parents and students with school choices, but will provide attractive neighborhood-based schools as a complement.

“Every dollar spent on buses is a dollar less for basic educational needs,” said Spano, “It’s time we implement a plan to put our money where it can do the most good.”

Spano said he will appoint a joint City-School District task force in January that will be given 90 days to develop a needs assessment and preliminary cost estimate for a multi-year construction plan. Spano said he will present the proposal to the Board of Education and City Council with the intent that by summer the first elements of the plan can be underway.

Share.

About Author

2 Comments

  1. Spano’s latest answer herein to fiscal collapse is to start building new school buildings, further burdening the overburdened taxpayer and homeowner who can’t find a job in this economy. And his ongoing answer to a deteriorating school system is to hand out more and more raises to teachers who have already proved over and over again to be incompetent to raise the bar of learning. It may not be the teachers’ fault; it may be that we have a populace returning to Neanderthal. Whatever the cause, throwing hundreds of millions of EVEN MORE taxpayer dollars at new buildings to house an increasingly pathetic system is lunacy.