New York’s education department lags in school building reviews

February 7, 2019 | Times Union

The State Education Department has a perpetual backlog of school building project reviews, with nearly half taking six months or longer before they are approved.

Of the hundreds of projects submitted for approval by SED, many typically languish for months, adding inflationary costs and impacting the way districts plan for things such as building renovations, new construction or modernizing structures for 21st century technology.

The SED unit that reviews building projects, the Facilities Planning Bureau, also uses 30-year-old technology and, at the time of the audit, had almost half of key reviewer jobs unfilled. The result is that school districts must wait for extended periods before they get state approval to start new construction projects.

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