Update on November 7th Conference, class size violations this fall, and time to move forward on school overcrowding

October 23, 2015

Dear Friend,

I wanted to update you on our citywide conference on Nov. 7 at PS 133 in Brooklyn, where we will develop an action agenda for the NYC public schools. Two new speakers have confirmed: Public Advocate Letitia James and City Council Education Chair Danny Dromm. They will let us know what their plans are for the year and hear from parents about what we want to see happen in our schools. Please sign up now at Eventbrite if you haven’t already; more than a hundred people have already reserved their seats. Here is a new flyer you can post in your school or forward to your friends; the conference is co-sponsored by NYC KidsPAC, CEC 15, and the Citywide Consortium of Education Councils.

2. On Monday, I spoke at a press event about class size, along with Michael Mulgrew, president of the UFT, and many state legislators and City Council members. The UFT announced that this fall, there were nearly 5,500 classes that violated the union contractual limits of 25 in Kindergarten, and 31-34 in other grades, compared to more than 6,000 violations the year before. Michael Mulgrew made it clear that this is relative progress and more must be made. He pressed the Governor to provide the additional $2 billion in school aid promised under CFE.

I said that both the city and the state are responsible for the deplorable class sizes in our public schools, especially as both Mayor de Blasio and the Chancellor have failed to live up to their promises. De Blasio pledged to implement a plan to reduce class size citywide during his campaign and yet we have heard nothing more about this since his election. More recently, the DOE promised that class size in the Renewal schools would be lowered, but so far has refused to disclose in which schools this may be occurring. After the press conference, the UFT provided figures of hundreds of class size violations at Renewal schools where classes are 35 or more. More on what the data shows on the blog, with videos of some of the eloquent speeches from elected officials about why reducing class size is critical; along with links to coverage from the Daily News, Chalkbeat, Schoolbook, NY Post, and PoliticoNY.

3. Last week there was a District 2 town hall where parents confronted the Chancellor about the worsening overcrowding and growing class sizes in Manhattan schools. On Sunday, I attended a rally in Sunnyside, Queens, where parents are fighting for a new middle school building to relieve overcrowding in their neighborhood. Yesterday, I was at a forum in Brooklyn, where parents were up in arms about the worsening space crunch in District 15 schools. Clearly, this is a citywide issue and we need to come together with citywide strategies and practical solutions, or parents will be fighting for a far-too little piece of pie for another ten years. That’s why you should attend our November 7 parent conference, to help us try to solve this systemic crisis, once and for all.


Leonie Haimson
Executive Director
Class Size Matters
124 Waverly Pl.
New York, NY 10011

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Categories Newsletters, Recent Newsletters, Updates | Tags: | Posted on October 29, 2015

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