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Parents Outraged Over Harsh Consequences Of Class Size Law; Launch Coalition for Class Size Equity

(New York, New York) The Coalition for Class Size Equity–a coalition of parents from the five boroughs of New York City–has formed, united by their concerns over the negative consequences from the Class Size Law.

While smaller classes are appealing at face value, recommendations from the Class Size Working Group (CSWG) on the implementation of the Law shed light on the harsh consequences that will affect all NYC Public School (NYCPS) students, including:

  • Limiting seats in zoned neighborhood schools;

  • Busing kids as young as 5 years old on lengthy commutes - possibly outside their school district;

  • Redistributing funding and resources away from low-income neighborhoods to higher-income neighborhoods;

  • Decreasing teacher quality in low income neighborhoods;

  • Defunding electives, language. arts, music, and gym classes;

  • Displacing school libraries and specialty rooms;

  • Reducing access to classrooms and programs like G&T, ICT, Honors, Dual-Language, AP classes;

  • Eliminating up to 40% of the seats in Specialized High Schools, performing arts schools, large high schools, and other popular programs, particularly in Queens, South Brooklyn, and Staten Island.

“The reality of this mandate is that funding will be redistributed from the poorest school districts to districts that are comparatively more affluent and already have stronger academic outcomes.”, said Deborah Alexander, Executive Director of the new Coalition for Class Size Equity and a member of the Class Size Working Group.

“Dr. Betty Rosa, Commissioner of Education expressed concerns on the equity implication of this law, and she is right.” added Alexander.

Jean Hahn, a parent in District 28—one of the most overcrowded districts in NYC— said, “The Class Size Law is rigidly written as if the only thing a child needs is a small class size, but parents know that a quality education is much more than that - students need access to arts, music, accelerated programs, ICT classrooms, etc. without forcing long commutes and busing in overcrowded districts. Why the rush?”

“The Law was passed by legislators with no public input in June 2022. Since that time we have heard from many community stakeholders concerned about the impact of the arbitrary, unfunded mandates imposed by this Law. We demand this Law be amended to better meet the needs of our diverse communities.”, said Stephen Stowe, CSWG member and CEC 20 President.

The Coalition for Class Size Equity includes a growing group of constituents - from current parent leaders to young families who are growing increasingly alarmed over the possibility that their 4-year old may not be able to attend their neighborhood school. Parents are joined by school principals who, openly or anonymously, are raising their voices to describe what the mandate will do to their schools in very practical terms.

The Coalition urges state legislators to amend the law now based on the recommendations of the Class Size Working Group Minority Report including extending the timeline for implementation and eliminating the teacher and principal unions’ role in gatekeeping exemptions, so that the Chancellor of NYCPS can implement lower class sizes in a practical and equitable way to benefit all students in New York City.


Deborah Alexander

Stephen Stowe

Twitter: @ClassSizeEquity



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