Friday, February 9, 2018

Fee Waivers for Community Organizations utilizing DOE school facilities


Pheffer Amato, Addabbo, Secure Fee Hardship Waiver for Community Organizations

Broad Channel, Queens- In response to a meeting held by Assemblywoman Stacey Pheffer Amato (D-Broad Channel), and Senator Joseph P. Addabbo (D-Howard Beach), the Department of Education (DOE) is now investing $2 million dollars in an Extended Use Hardship Waiver Pilot that will provide fee waivers to community based organizations (CBO) who utilize DOE school facilities. Currently, the DOE charges fees for extended use permits for security and custodial services. The Broad Channel Athletic Club and Swim Strong were originally affected and were not able to afford the cost of utilizing the DOE facilities for their programs; with the new waiver program it will make these facilities more accessible and affordable. Beginning in school year 2018-19, CBO’s will be able to receive fee waivers to access school facilities.

“I am proud to announce that the Department of Education has listened to the concerns of our community organizations and decided to take steps in ensuring the necessary corrective actions,” said Pheffer Amato. “Providing this pilot program will ensure that programs like the Broad Channel Athletic Club will continue to offer their vital services to for our community.”

“It is great to see the Department of Education working with our community based organizations to assist them in using DOE facilities after hours through the Extended Use Hardship Waiver Pilot program,” Addabbo, the ranking member of the Senate Education Committee, said. “Our school buildings are a part of our communities, as organizations like Swim Strong and the Broad Channel Athletic Club. In the end, this waiver will allow credible programs to thrive and our residents will benefit by it.”

“The Broad Channel Athletic Club would like to thank Senator Addabbo , Assemblywoman Amato and the DOE for working together do put an end to CBOs having to pay enormous rates to use DOE facilities,” said Leo Chavanne, President of the Broad Channel Athletic Club.

Swim Strong Foundation thanks Senator Addabbo, Assemblywoman Amato and the DoE for creating this opportunity for us to be better partners in using city schools to provide our life saving swim lessons so that more New Yorkers can be safe in and around the water,” said Shawn Slevin, Founder and Executive Director Swim Strong Foundation.

When applying for a fee waiver, organizations will need to be a not-for-profit, show financial need, be approved by DOE for a use permit, and be in good standing and compliance with all Chancellor’s Regulations. The DOE is hiring a full-time employee to oversee the program and is putting a formal process in place to support organizations, including a centralized website, hosting community meetings and other community outreach to provide information about the program.

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