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Fight over Brooklyn jail is transformed into pitch for more schools

Comptroller William Thompson Jr. is tying a longstanding argument with the Bloomberg administration over whether to expand a downtown Brooklyn jail, a project that is slated to cost about $430 million, into a debate about … schools!

From a letter Thompson sent to the mayor today:

In these challenging fiscal times, the City would be better served to redirect this nearly half a billion dollars to school construction, an already proven under-funded need. Why threaten the successful economic revitalization of Downtown Brooklyn when the money could be better spent building nearly ten new schools?

Thompson first entered the push to build more schools, and to criticize the mayor for not building enough of them, this spring with a report arguing that public schools are now bursting at their seams. Here’s the full letter as a PDF.