When Gotham Gazette examined the role of rampant condo construction in school overcrowding, not too many public figures picked up on it. But actress Cynthia Nixon has. In a Daily News Op-Ed demanding the retention of the threatened Center School at the PS 199 building, the Sex and the City star mentions that the “ostensible reason” for Center School’s eviction is “overcrowding created by Donald Trump and other developers who have aggressively built new residential towers in our neighborhood, but never the schools required to serve the increased population.” Nixon laments PS 199’s dwindling diversity, “with the percentage of black and Latino students trending down as the area’s ‘Trumped-up’ property values rise.”
Nixon also brings up another generally under-mentioned point: that parents’ groups generally have to raise lots of money themselves to brace up public schools. She reports that PS 199’s parents have kicked in $450,000 (!) for school programs, and even formed a political action committee to defend their children’s interests.
We aren’t sure that Nixon’s right on this specific plan (several Daily News commenters think not) and her hectoring tone will be familiar to viewers of her recent film work, but it’s nice to have an eloquent, well-known person associated with these issues.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on November 24, 2008