Senator Serrano Responds To City's Proposed Five-year Capital Education Plan

José M. Serrano

November 06, 2008

Bronx, NY - State Senator José M. Serrano (D-Bronx/Manhattan) today praised the Department of Education for including a Highbridge middle school in its Proposed Five Year Capital Plan. But the Senator, a long-time advocate for the middle school, expressed some concern regarding the proposed capacity needs listed in the plan.

"The real heroes are the residents," said Serrano, a member of the Senate Education Committee. "You'd be hard-pressed to find a more engaged and hard-working group of parents in this city."

"I also applaud the DOE for being receptive and engaged on this issue. The community has waited a long time for this school, and it was a thrill to see it listed in the plan," he said.

Nevertheless, the Senator said there was room for improvement between now and when the plan is finalized. "I'm reading about capacity needs of 389 seats. But this year alone we have more than 500 Highbridge students graduating from elementary school."

The Senator also disputed the DOE claim that capacity needs in Highbridge are a function of geographic constraint, not enrollment.

"Yes, this is an isolated community on a hill, and we do lack access," he said. "But it's also the fastest growing part of Community District 4, with a tremendous number of young families. I'm fearful that if we limit ourselves to a small school today, we'll be playing catch-up in the future."