NYS Assemblymember representing the 52nd District Joan Millman writes the NY Times today in response to its recent article about many NYC Public Schools filling up and turning away students:
To the Editor:
The district I represent, which includes Carroll Gardens, Cobble Hill, Brooklyn Heights, Dumbo, Boerum Hill and Park Slope, is seeing a tremendous level of development.
I sympathize with parents whose children are shut out of neighborhood schools and agree that the Education Department should do a better job of planning new schools to accommodate the city’s growing population.
What should be stressed is the responsibility of housing developers to contribute to the solution to this problem. While housing can be a desirable addition to a neighborhood, constructing thousands of new apartments without careful planning for services to serve new tenants seriously overloads city services, including the schools and fire, police and sanitation services.
Developers should be required to work with city agencies to carefully plan for increases in services as new residents come into a neighborhood. For example, a developer could work with the Education Department to build a school in a particularly large residential development, or could contribute funds that would help the department build new schools or hire new teachers.
Communities cannot simply be made up of apartment buildings that make a profit for developers. The quality of life in those communities must also be considered.
Joan L. Millman
Member of Assembly, 52nd District
Brooklyn, May 9, 2008