New York City

Colton: City must reduce class size, invest more funds for hiring teachers

June 17, 2024 Brooklyn Eagle Staff
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GRAVESEND AND CITYWIDE — THE CITY MUST BECOME SERIOUS about reducing class size in its public schools, contends Assemblymember William Colton (D-A.D. 47), a former teacher who now represents Gravesend, Bensonhurst, Bath Beach and Dyker Heights. Colton is chiding the NYC Department of Education for not having taken major steps to comply with 2022 legislation passed in Albany that mandates such a reduction. Colton pointed out that the recently announced “hold-harmless” agreement means that public schools with lower enrollment will not lose funding, even if that is not guaranteed for the full 2024-2025 school year. He raised the concern that some schools might have to make potentially damaging mid-year staff cuts. He adds that the DOE has so far set aside just $137 million to hire new teachers, with almost 500 city public schools receiving insufficient funds to hire even one more teacher, according to the not-for-profit organization Class Size Matters.

For its part, Class Size Matters contends that, rather than resulting in smaller classes, DOE “policies have caused class sizes to increase due to repeated budget cuts, while also slashing spending on more space.”

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