NEW YORK (PIX11) — While Mayor Eric Adams has criticized a new cap on students in New York City classrooms, others say it’s sorely needed, especially now that enrollment has jumped with a surge of migrants in the city.
A bill signed by Gov. Kathy Hochul on Thursday limits the number of students per class to no more than 20 in classes form kindergarten through third grade, no more than 23 in classes from fourth through eighth grade and no more than 25 students in classes from ninth through 12th grade.
Right now, classrooms are supposed to be capped at 34 students. While Department of Education data shows most K-8 classes in the five boroughs have an average number of 20-25 students, Manhattan Borough President Mark Levine on Tuesday pointed to a class with “35 or 37 kids because of the surge in migrant families.”
“They’re going to need more staff and more space,” he said as he stood outside PS 111 in Hell’s Kitchen.
Fourth-grade student Payton Lyons said she can’t even count how many kids are in her class. Her mom, Christina Lyons, said it’s more than 30.
“That’s a lot,” she said. “Especially for children that are coming out of a pandemic and especially at this young age. They need that individualized attention. So its a bit of a challenge so far.”
Mayor Adams has said the new bill, set to kick in at the start of the next school year, is unfair. He’s called in an unfunded mandate that singles out New York City.