Education Council Consortium resolution urging City Council to fund class size reduction

List of PDFs of approved resolutions urging City Council to fund class sizes here:

Education Council Consortium resolution urging City Council to fund class size reduction

Approved May 10, 2019

Whereas in the landmark Campaign for Fiscal Equity case, the state’s highest court concluded that smaller classes were necessary for NYC students to receive their constitutional right to a sound basic education;

Whereas class sizes are even larger now, particularly in the early grades, than when the court issued that decision;

Whereas, since 2007, average NYC class sizes have increased sharply and are now 13-30% bigger than in the rest of the state;

Whereas, the number or children in grades 1st through 3rd in classes of 30 or more has increased by nearly 3000% increase of since 2007

Whereas more than 336,000 NYC students are in classes of 30 or more in all grades;

Whereas smaller classes have been the highest or second highest priority of parents out of nine choices when asked what changes they would like to see in their own children’s schools, according to the DOE’s school environment surveys;

Whereas, according to a UFT teacher survey, 99% NYC teachers say that class size reduction would be an effective reform to improve NYC schools– far outstripping any other option;

Whereas rigorous research shows that smaller classes lead to significant improvements in student test scores, grades, engagement, school climate and graduation rates, and decreases in disciplinary referrals and teacher attrition;

Whereas economists have estimated that the benefits of smaller classes are about twice the costs, especially for low-income students and children of color, who make up most of the students in NYC public schools;

Whereas, since Mayor de Blasio took office, student achievement has been flat or declining, as measured on the NAEP exams, the most reliable national assessments, and the achievement gap has widened;

Whereas smaller classes will most likely lead to substantial cost savings in special education referrals and teacher training costs,

Whereas a letter sent by over 70 professors of education and psychology to Chancellor Farina in 2014 emphasized that gains from PreK would likely be undermined without reductions in class size in grades K-3;

Be it resolved that the Education Council Consortium urges the NYC Council to allocate $200 million to lower class size, starting first in the early grades and in struggling schools, an amount that is less than one percent of the approximately $27 billion dollars that will be spent by DOE next year;

Be it also resolved that this would pay for the salaries of about 2,000 new teachers, which could reduce class size in as many as 8,000 classrooms – as adding a new teacher lowers class size for all other students in that grade in every school.

If you do pass this resolution, please send it to your Council member and copy

Categories Reports & Memos, Reports, Testimonies, Etc., Updates | Tags: | Posted on May 13, 2019

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