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  • Press Statement
  • Response to the Release of NYC Public Schools’ Proposed 2025–2029 Capital Plan

    Today, Kim Sweet, Executive Director of Advocates for Children of New York (AFC), issued the following statement in response to the release of the New York City Public Schools’ (NYCPS) proposed FY 2025–2029 Five-Year Capital Plan.

    Nov 1, 2023

    Legs of a child using crutches. (Image by falco from Pixabay)
    Image by falco from Pixabay

    More than 30 years after the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), students, parents, educators, and other New Yorkers with physical disabilities continue to be excluded from the majority of New York City’s public school buildings. Creating accessible schools is an important priority that requires sustained commitment and resources.

    New York City’s 2020–2024 Capital Plan made a $750 million down payment towards the ultimate goal of full accessibility in our schools. But given the decades of inadequate attention that preceded this investment, nearly two-thirds of City schools will still not be fully accessible by the time the construction funded by the current Capital Plan is complete. While we are encouraged to see a continued commitment of $800 million in NYCPS’ proposed capital spending for 2025–2029, in practical terms, $800 million would represent a decrease in the City’s financial commitment to accessibility. Given inflation and rising construction costs, maintaining the slow but steady rate of progress seen in recent years requires a commensurate increase in funding.

    In August, AFC called on New York City to allocate $1.25 billion for school accessibility projects in the next Capital Plan, with the goal of bringing at least 50% of buildings that serve as the primary location for a school to full accessibility by 2029. This work is too important — and too long overdue — for the City to fall further behind. New York City must stand firm on its commitment to improving school accessibility. Children who were born the year the ADA was signed into law are now parents themselves; it is not acceptable to postpone compliance with this landmark civil rights law for yet another generation.

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