Yasmeen Khan is a reporter covering education. You can find her stories on the air and on SchoolBook.org, WNYC’s education website.
The Bloomberg administration said it is inching closer to its goal of having 1,800 New York City schools by 2013, up from approximately 1,700 schools now.
Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and Schools Chancellor Dennis M. Walcott announced Tuesday that the Department of Education will open 54 new schools across the five boroughs this fall, spanning all grade levels. Thirty of them are district schools, 24 are charters. The new schools will bring the total number of schools opened under Mayor Bloomberg since 2002 to 589.
"These will be exciting new schools for our students," said Chancellor Walcott. "I and the mayor and all of us are big believers in choice."
Listen to a portion of the news conference with Mayor Bloomberg and Chancellor Walcott.
While opening new schools is cause for celebration for the mayor, it hits a nerve with others who see the process of opening, closing and co-locating schools as inextricably linked.
"We intend to fight to make sure these new schools get the support they need," said Michael Mulgrew, president of the teachers' union, in a statement.
The city and the teachers' union have been at odds over the philosophy of closing struggling schools and opening new ones, with the union calling the mayor "obsessed" with closing schools.
The mayor's announcement also came on the same day that mayoral hopefuls criticized the mayor's policies of closing schools.
The Bloomberg administration has closed or is in the process of closing 117 schools, not including an additional 23 schools proposed for phase out.