Many Bronx public high schools to kick off new year overcapacity

Many public high schools are expected to begin the new year overcapacity -- a problem education officials fear could affect the quality of education.

Three out of four students in public high schools citywide are learning in overcrowded classrooms. During the 2002-2003 school year, as many as 40,000 extra seats would have been needed to ease overcrowding.

Walton High School is one of the most overcrowded schools in the city. According to statistics from the city's Independent Budge Office, Walton is one of the 10 most overcrowded high school buildings in the city. Officials say it is at least 65 percent overcapacity.

Department of Education officials say the news is not as bad as it seems. They say the number of overcrowded high schools has gone down by 5 percent citywide over the last five years. The DOE also plans to create more seats citywide over the next few years. In addition, DOE officials say there has been a downward trend in enrollment, which they hope continues.

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