Thank goodness for the New York Post where the stink continues to fester, and this is a good thing.
In the piece published recently in the Post and re-posted below, Queens City Councilman Robert Holden said:
"If the chancellor believes pouring endless tax dollars into Willowbrook 2.0 is acceptable, and he can sleep at night, that’s on him.”
Remove politics from education!
Betsy Combier, firstname.lastname@example.org
Editor, NYC Rubber Room Reporter
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Education Department commits $16 million to embattled Queens school, but nixes move to new building
Carranza nixes shift of Qns. school for disabled
Schools Chancellor Richard Carranza rejected moving a Queens school for the disabled (inset), which the Education Department says has already gotten plenty of money for fixes. (Byron Smith)
By Michael Elsen-Rooney New York Daily News
A Queens special needs school under fire for deteriorating conditions will get a $16 million face lift — but no new location, Schools Chancellor Richard Carranza said in a letter sent Friday to a local politician who is pushing for the move.
The fixes to Public School 9 in Maspeth, which houses 100 students with severe disabilities, include adding an elevator and redoing the cafeteria, come on top of $14 million the city had previously committed. But the letter eliminated any possibility of a move in the near future — something Queens City Councilman Robert Holden says is necessary because of the building’s inaccessibility and location in a fume-ridden industrial zone.
“I am proud of this building and its history,” PS 9 Principal Robert Wojnarowski said in a statement Friday. “We will continue to work hand-in-hand with the School Construction Authority, local elected officials, and members of the community so our students can continue to learn and grow here.”
But Holden ripped Carranza for refusing to make a move.
“It is clear that Chancellor Carranza cares little about the most vulnerable children in our system,” he said.
The fate of PS 9 is at the center of a sometimes heated public debate. Holden has pushed for almost a year for a move to a new site, and claimed city officials ignored deteriorating conditions.
Education Department officials countered that they’ve already invested $14 million into a still-ongoing exterior renovation along with smaller interior changes, and that agency representatives have assessed the building regularly.
Carranza personally visited the school Monday before deciding on final recommendations.
The bulk of the new investment will go toward making the building, which currently has no elevator and no wheelchair access, fully accessible. Officials said the changes, the biggest of which is building an elevator, will cost $7 to $10 million and take three to five years.
The basement —which holds the school’s gym and cafeteria — will get a $5 million renovation expected to be finished by September 2021.
Officials also committed to a deep clean of the building, new changing tables in bathrooms, and no chipping or peeling paint by the first day of school in September. Another $1 million will go toward a new music room, sensory room and computer room, the letter said.
The debate over the school has at times spilled over into the surrounding community, with some parents blasting the school’s conditions, while teachers have vocally defended the site and pointed to the potential disruption to students of a move.
Further complicating matters, the building where Holden has proposed relocating the school is also under consideration to house a homeless shelter, a move Holden has opposed.
The councilman said he won’t be satisfied until the students are relocated.
“If the chancellor believes pouring endless tax dollars into Willowbrook 2.0 is acceptable, and he can sleep at night, that’s on him.”