New York City Council Header
File #: Res 0038-2010    Version: * Name: Dept of Education to develop a plan for the construction and/or renovation of school gymnasiums as part of its Five-Year Capital Plan.
Type: Resolution Status: Filed
Committee: Committee on Education
On agenda: 2/11/2010
Enactment date: Law number:
Title: Resolution calling upon the New York City Department of Education to develop a plan for the construction and/or renovation of school gymnasiums as part of its Five-Year Capital Plan to ensure that every school has adequate facilities in order to comply with New York State physical education requirements and to provide for healthy children and youth.
Sponsors: Inez E. Dickens, Charles Barron, Gale A. Brewer, Margaret S. Chin, Julissa Ferreras-Copeland, Lewis A. Fidler, Vincent J. Gentile, Letitia James, G. Oliver Koppell, Karen Koslowitz, Annabel Palma, Domenic M. Recchia, Jr., Diana Reyna, Ydanis A. Rodriguez, Jumaane D. Williams, Daniel Dromm
Council Member Sponsors: 16
Res. No. 38
 
 
Resolution calling upon the New York City Department of Education to develop a plan for the construction and/or renovation of school gymnasiums as part of its Five-Year Capital Plan to ensure that every school has adequate facilities in order to comply with New York State physical education requirements and to provide for healthy children and youth.
 
 
By Council Members Dickens, Barron, Brewer, Chin, Ferreras, Fidler, Gentile, James, Koppell, Koslowitz, Palma, Recchia Jr., Reyna, Rodriguez, Williams and Dromm
 
Whereas, A major issue threatening the health of our school age children (pre-K through high school) is obesity resulting, in large part, from a lack of physical activity; and
Whereas, According to the National Center for Health Statistics of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), in 2003-04, 17.1% of children and adolescents 2 to 19 years of age (over 12.5 million) were overweight, and 32.2% of adults (over 66 million) were obese; and
Whereas, The prevalence of obesity for children and adolescents in the United States has virtually tripled since 1980 according to the CDC; and
Whereas, A report issued by Trust for America's Health in 2009 found that New York State had the 18th highest percent of obese and overweight children in the U.S.; and
Whereas, A 2003 survey conducted by the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene found that 43% of all elementary school students in New York City are overweight or obese, which is higher than the national average; and
Whereas, The health implications for being overweight, according to the CDC, include increased risk for hypertension, Type 2 diabetes, coronary heart disease, stroke, some cancers, high cholesterol, osteoarthritis, asthma and other respiratory problems among others; and
Whereas, There is a direct connection between a healthy body and a healthy mind; and
Whereas, Considerable research evidence reveals that children who are physically active and fit are likely to have stronger academic performance, including a 2009 University of Illinois study which suggests that physical activity may increase students' ability to pay attention and result in better performance on achievement tests; and
Whereas, Recent studies by the CDC, PE4life and the California School Boards Association also show a positive link between physical education and academic achievement; and
Whereas, The New York State Education Department requires participation in a physical education program on a daily basis for pupils in grades K through 3, not less than three times a week for at least 120 minutes overall for those in grades 4 through 6, and not less than three times per week in one semester and two times per week in the other semester for grades 7 through 12; and
Whereas, The New York City Department of Education (DOE) fails to provide its students with the adequate and legally mandated amount of physical education according to a 2008 survey by the Public Advocate; and
Whereas, The survey by the Public Advocate found that 96% of elementary schools surveyed violated state mandates requiring daily physical education for children in grades K through 3, 88% violated state regulations requiring 120 minutes of physical education per week for fourth graders, and 69% of middle schools surveyed violated state regulations requiring 120 minutes of physical education per week for sixth graders; and
Whereas, Further, the Public Advocate found that 81% of elementary schools and 48% of middle schools surveyed do not have any extracurricular sports program or athletic teams; and
Whereas, The Public Advocate's office found in a 2004 survey that some schools have no gymnasium at all or have inadequate facilities; and
Whereas, The Public Advocate's finding that physical education facilities are inadequate or non-existent in many New York City public schools is supported by a survey of Manhattan schools by the office of former Council Member Alan Gerson, which found that approximately 20%, 55 out of 272 schools, have no gymnasium; and
Whereas, The DOE's 2005-2009 Five-Year Capital Plan, when adopted in June 2004, allocated just $338.3 million for physical fitness upgrades towards meeting a projected $1.55 billion ten-year need and allocated just $48.3 million for gymnasium upgrades compared to the projected ten-year need of $366.6 million; and
Whereas, Subsequent amendments to the DOE's 2005-2009 Five-Year Capital Plan reduced allocations for physical fitness upgrades, with the November 2009 final report showing the amount allocated for physical fitness upgrades was $201.9 million and the amount for gymnasium upgrades was $43.2 million; and
Whereas, DOE's current 2010-2014 Five-Year Capital Plan, adopted in June 2009, allocated $215.4 million for physical fitness upgrades and $50.2 million for gymnasium upgrades; and
Whereas, DOE's Proposed Amendment to the 2010-2014 Five-Year Capital Plan, released on February 3rd 2010, allocated $226.8 million for physical fitness upgrades and $46.4 million for gymnasium upgrades, far short of the amount needed; now, therefore, be it
Resolved, That the Council of the City of New York calls upon the New York City Department of Education to develop a plan for the construction and/or renovation of school gymnasiums as part of its Five-Year Capital Plan to ensure that every school has adequate facilities in order to comply with New York State physical education requirements and to provide for healthy children and youth.  
 
LS#53
Res. No. 1539-2008
JA
2/8/10
10:30 am