Exciting news on new class size bill, list of schools in DOE “pilot” & make your voices heard next week!

July 29, 2021 7:04 PM

Exciting news!

  • This morning, the City Council announced a new bill that would require radically smaller class sizes starting in the fall of 2022, by amending the NYC administrative code to allow only one student per 35 square feet of classroom space, on health and safety grounds. This would only mean a maximum of about 14 kids in a 500 sq. classroom and 21 students in a 750 sq. ft. room, to be phased in over three years. Here is a video of part of this morning’s press conference, along with links to the bill, co-sponsored by CM Treyger and Speaker Johnson.  This legislation is a gutsy and creative move by the City Council to move the needle forward on class size, despite the Mayor’s stubborn opposition to do so, and should be applauded.
  • The DOE finally released a list of the 72 elementary schools that will receive additional $18 million for their class size “pilot.”  Yet apparently principals have been told they can also use these funds for push-in teachers, and if so, this will not lead to smaller class sizes, and thus will be unlikely to provide the same benefits. If you work in one of these schools or your child attends one, please let us know by emailing info@classsizematters.org
  • You can make your voices heard on the need for systemic class size reduction next week at borough hearings on the DOE’s proposed Contract for Excellence plan.  The hearings will be held Monday August 1 – Thursday August 5 at 6:30 PM; their locations as well as DOE’s purported plan are posted here. We have provided talking points you can draw from .   If you plan to attend, please let us know.
  • Despite the fact that the city is receiving $530 million more in Foundation Aid from the state, intended to fulfill the goals of the CFE lawsuit, the DOE claims they are receiving no more C4E funds this year.  Moreover, they have refused to target a single dollar to the central issue in the case: the excessive class sizes that rob NYC students of their right to a sound basic education, according to the state’s highest court. Along with AQE and the Education Law Center, we sent a memo today to the State Commissioner expressing our strong reservations to the DOE’s proposed plan, on policy as well as legal grounds.
  • Finally, we have also posted talking points for School Leadership Teams on why they should strongly advocate with their principals to use any available funds to lower class size next fall, both for academic and emotional support and for the sake of social distancing.

Hope to see you at the hearings next week,

Leonie Haimson
Executive Director
Class Size Matters
phone: 917-435-9329

Categories Newsletters, Updates | Tags: | Posted on July 31, 2021

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