New report shows significant & beneficial declines in citywide class sizes that will increase once again if Mayor’s budget cuts are made

March 20, 2022

Today Class Size Matters released a new class size report, entitled “What has happened to class size this year and what will happen to class size if the Mayor’s cuts are enacted?” 

The report shows significant and highly beneficial decreases in average class size this year citywide due to enrollment decline, though significant disparities remaining across school districts and grade levels.

It also discusses how Mayor Adams’ proposed budget cuts to schools will likely cause class sizes to rise to sharply once again to pre-pandemic levels, despite the consensus that smaller classes are more important than ever to support students and enable them to recover from the academic and emotional disruption caused by the pandemic.

The report goes on to reveal that the School Construction Authority has now revised and lowered classroom capacity standards in the annual School Enrollment, Capacity, and Utilization report (otherwise known as the “Blue Book”) to be aligned to the smaller classes in the city’s original reduction plan approved by the state in 2007 – that is, 23 students per class in grades 4-8th and 25 students per class in high schools, with the standards already aligned to class sizes of 20 in  grades K-3.  Yet at the same time, the SCA has inexplicably proposed to cut more than 10,000 new school seats from the capital plan.

The brief explains how the NYC Department of Education and the SCA have failed to comply with two important city laws passed in 2018, Local Law 167 and Local Law 168, designed to improve the transparency, credibility, and efficiency of the school planning process.

Finally, it concludes by urging the City Council to resubmit and pass Int 2374-2021 in an amended form, requiring the phase-in of class size caps over five years rather than three years, and now differentiated by grade level in alignment with the new class size capacity caps in the “Blue Book.”  The original bill, containing uniform class size caps to be achieved over three years, garnered the support of 41 out of 50 sitting Council Members last session, but never came to a vote.

Categories Reports & Memos, Uncategorized, Updates | Tags: | Posted on March 20, 2022

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