Borough President Unveils Major Investment: $30M for Queens Schools

Queens Borough President Donovan Richards, AMHS principal Allison Tiberio, and students are pictured holding a check bearing the memo "investing in our children and our future."

Queens, NY – Borough President Donovan Richards announces a groundbreaking $30.5 million investment in Queens’ educational infrastructure for fiscal year 2024. The announcement at August Martin High School underscores the unprecedented scale of funding, signaling a significant move to revitalize borough schools.


This year’s allocation surpasses previous years, with Queens schools receiving $11.5 million in fiscal year 2022 and $10.7 million in fiscal 2023. Named after Tuskegee airman August Harvey Martin, AMHS is slated to receive $4.25 million in FY24 capital funding for the renovation of its cafeteria, gymnasium, and auditorium. The cafeteria renovation will get $2 million, allocate $1.5 million for the gymnasium upgrade, and use $750,000 to install a cooling system in the auditorium.


Borough President Donovan Richards emphasized the importance of investing in education, stating, “Our kids can’t take flight if they are not getting the highest quality education possible; if they are not in a facility that can meet their needs. It’s time for our kids to take flight.” Since taking office in 2020, Richards’ commitment to education has resulted in a total investment of $53 million in Queens schools.


Richards also addressed the long-standing issue of disinvestment in communities like Jamaica, underscoring the impact it has had on students. “Decades of disinvestment in communities like Jamaica kept students grounded. Our kids can’t take flight if they are not getting the highest quality education possible,” he stated passionately.


The funding distribution extends beyond AMHS, benefiting various schools across Queens. Auditorium upgrades totaling $8 million are allocated for Jamaica High School, M.S. 72 in Rochdale, P.S. 132 in Laurelton, P.S. 171 in Astoria, and Queens High School for Information, Research & Technology in Far Rockaway. Hillcrest High School in Jamaica Hills will see $1.65 million for athletic field renovations and locker room upgrades.


Other allocations include $1.1 million for a cafeteria cooling system, video production room, and computer lab upgrades at the Springfield Gardens Educational Campus, $1 million for playground renovations at P.S. 118 in Hollis, and $1 million for locker room enhancements at John Adams High School in Ozone Park.


Mary Vaccaro, Vice President for Education for the United Federation of Teachers (UFT), expressed pride in the positive developments emerging from Queens South high schools. “Great things are coming out of Queens South high schools,” she remarked.


Shirley Aubin, the Borough President’s representative on the Panel for Educational Policy, stressed the importance of investing in schools to ensure equitable, high-quality education. “Aligning with New York City School Chancellor Banks’ four pillars, we want all Queens scholars to be college, career, and civic ready,” Aubin stated.


In acknowledgment of Donovan Richards’ dedication to public school students, Bryan McGinn of the School Construction Authority commended him as the elected official showing the most commitment and dedication to the students and children in the city. “The elected official in this city who continues to show the most commitment and dedication to the students and children in the city is by far Donovan Richards,” McGinn praised.


This substantial investment reaffirms Queens Borough President Donovan Richards’ commitment to fostering a conducive and enriching educational environment for the youth of Queens, signaling a positive stride towards building a more prosperous and educated future.


Source: QNS