May 20, 2015 By Jackie Strawbridge
A $682 million proposal could be a lifeline for PS/IS 78, according to State Sen. Michael Gianaris.
Gianaris said that he and Senate Democrats have proposed the creation of an education package that would help fund new schools. The $682 million would come from surplus money generated from a number of Wall Street settlements.
Officially proposed as an “education infrastructure bank,” the money is intended to reduce school overcrowding throughout the state. However, Gianaris said that it would have a substantial impact in western Queens, which has two of the city’s most over crowded school districts. He is also hopeful that it would help solve the urgent need for space at PS/IS 78 in Long Island City.
Early this month, District 30 Superintendent Philip Composto informed parents that the Department of Education might have to truncate the middle school beginning in 2016. Many parents with young children have voiced their concern– fearing that their children might have to find seats at far-off middle schools in a few years.
“I will work to make this education infrastructure bank a reality quickly enough to solve the problems plaguing PS/IS 78 and so many other schools in western Queens,” Gianaris said. “School overcrowding is a crisis directly affecting the lives of teachers, students and parents in western Queens every day and it must be dealt with immediately.”
According to Gianaris’ office, it is too early to determine how much of this investment would be put towards PS/IS 78 students.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo would need to approve the proposal for the infrastructure bank to be established; money would then be allocated by Cuomo and distributed by the State Education Department.
Cuomo’s office could not immediately confirm his position on the proposed education package.