The NYC school closings in 2018 will add 19 to its number as underperforming schools in the district are slated to either be shuttered outright or merged with other schools. The New York City Department of Education will close down 14 schools part of the NYC Renewal Schools program in addition to five other non-renewal schools. The program was created with the intention to invest resources and support in the lowest-performing schools in the district to bring them up to snuff. In these 14 schools, however, the renewed dedication from the city was not enough.
One of the NYC school closings includes the Urban Assembly School for Wildlife Conservation in the Bronx, where a student was stabbed to death by a classmate last fall.
Aside from weak performances and safety concerns, many of the schools are facing tough times due to an NYC enrollment decline at many institutions across the city.
NYC DOE to Shut Down 19 Worst-Performing Schools in June 2018
NYC school closings in 2018 may be a major blow to the Renewal Schools program.
Started in 2014 by Mayor Bill de Blasio, the plan to better the performance of struggling schools rather than shut them down and replace them has run up quite the price tag. The program is said to have cost a total of $582.0 million by the end of the academic year, with little evidence showing improvement.
The program did not add any schools to the program, despite the NYC schools shut down in 2017 alongside the ones that will be closing in the new year.
Enrollment decline may also put schools in the program at risk. Parents are apparently avoiding schools that are registered in the program, perhaps due to the bad optics of being a school in need of such dramatic aid. Enrollment at 52 Renewal Schools dropped by at least 10% from the 2015 school year to the 2016 school year. Only six schools had at least a 10% enrollment growth in that same time.
Contrast that with the dramatic drops in student enrollment with one of the schools being shuttered or merged. For instance, the Coalition School for Social Change had 311 students in the 2013-14 school year and 161 students during the last school year.
Other schools, like the Bronx high school closing, are made based on security concerns that have reigned at the school since the fatal stabbing.
Earlier NYC School Closings in 2017
While the NYC school closings in 2018 are the news, many schools have closed as the year has gone on.
In February, it was announced that six Catholic schools in the area would be shuttered.
Of the six closures, Bronx school closings in 2017 made up four of them. One was part of the Manhattan school closings in 2017.
“NYC Will Close or Merge Worst-Performing Schools,” NBC New York, December 18, 2017.
“New York City Will Close or Merge 14 Schools From Renewal Program,” The New York Times, December 18, 2017.
“6 Catholic schools in NYC, Sullivan County closing,” ABC 7, February 6, 2017.