Jun 11, 2001
Press Release

NEW YORK: Today, the Task Force for an East Side high school, co-chaired by Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney and Manhattan Borough President C. Virginia Fields, together with Board of Education officials, announced a major investment in an existing school and the creation of another one the East Side of Manhattan.

The Life Sciences school on East 96th Street will receive approximately $1.7 million dollars in city funds to renovate the existing school, increase capacity, and build on successful education programs specializing in science and math. In addition, Congresswoman Maloney and members of the Task Force announced an agreement today for the lease of a site at 76th Street and York Avenue for a new East Side high school.

Maloney said of the announcement, "This is a major victory for the parents and kids of the East Side. By finding and securing the right location for this school, we have overcome the obstacle that frustrated our efforts for years. I credit the collective efforts of parents, elected officials, and education leaders for working to make this school a reality. Practically the only group not involved in making this school a reality is the U.N."

The movement for the East Side high school began several years ago with a coalition of concerned parents and culminated this year in a major forum on January 18th where Board of Education officials agreed to make the school a top priority. That forum, organized by Maloney and hosted by a coalition of East Side elected officials, led to the creation of the Task Force for an East Side High School. After just four meetings of the Task Force, the first major hurdle in achieving the new school was crossed today when a final location was announced.

Maloney continued: "Here on the East Side, our two main concerns have been to ensure a basic capacity to provide public education for every young person in a fast growing student population and to provide the best quality education that every kid deserves. There are currently more than 2,200 eighth grade students attending school in Community School District 2. The limited number of high school seats within the district means that many of these students don't have the choice of a local public high school. As the number of students skyrockets in this district, the number of high school seats has stagnated. The jam-packed, overcrowded condition of our schools needs to change and this is a critical first step in that process. The new school we are moving forward with today is absolutely necessary to give kids in the area a fair chance and a real opportunity to succeed."

"In particular, I want to recognize the work of City Council Speaker Peter Vallone and Councilmembers Gifford Miller and Eva Moskowitz for securing crucial funds for both the Life Sciences school and the new East Side high school. I also want to recognize Borough President C. Virginia Fields for her leadership in advocating for these schools and for quality education throughout the city. The united Task Force for an East Side high school also included Assemblymembers Pete Grannis, Steve Sanders, and John Ravitz, and Senator Goodman. I thank Chancellor Harold Levy, Deputy Chancellor Tony Shorris, former President of the Board of Education William Thompson, and Board Member Irving Hamer for their important contributions to the betterment of Life Sciences and the creation of the new high school. Last but certainly not least, I want to recognize the hundreds of parents and community leaders who brought this issue to the forefront of public debate."

"Today's news is not only about finding a site for an East Side high school," Maloney said, "it's also about people coming together to achieve something great for young people in the community. There's no better feeling than working together to create a new school for future generations. This is a victory for the hundreds of parents and the coalition of East Side elected officials who worked to make this school a reality."