Lawmakers work to slash class size at NYC schools

Local News

NEW YORK — Proposed legislation to reduce class size is working its way through the City Council and it could become reality in six weeks.

The goal is to have smaller class sizes through a novel approach, with a change to the city’s health code.
The goal is to have one person per 35 square feet of classroom, which is more than double the current health code standard. That would allow anywhere from 14 to 21 students in the classroom.

It would require the city purchasing or leasing new educational space or adding access to buildings as well as hiring about 13,000 new teachers.

“This administration has made historic investments to support lower class size and we’re leading with equity this year by providing targeted funding to our highest-need schools to reduce class size,” a Department of Education spokesperson said. “Classrooms are already capped so every student gets the individual attention they need and our gold-standard approach to school reopening speaks for itself.”

The bill is supported by the United Federation fo Teachers, President Michael Mulgrew said.

“We know in the end you get better educational outcomes,” Mulgrew said. “The thing is, they don’t want to make it a priority because they don’t want to have to do it.”

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