Wed, Nov 28, 2007
Class Size Critics Say "Do More"
By Yoav Gonen, The New York Post
The Department of Education's plan for reducing class size doesn't go far enough to address overcrowding at 408 failing schools, advocates charged yesterday.
While the city agreed last week to direct $153 million in new state funds toward reducing class size citywide this year, its plan targeted fewer than 150 schools for more substantial interventions.
But a report released yesterday by the Campaign for Fiscal Equity - the group whose lawsuit against the state resulted in the added funds - found that 152 failing schools could immediately reduce class sizes simply by using existing space in their buildings.
The city is required to renew its plan for using additional state funds every July.
"We've got the next six months to really develop a good plan and we think if they use this roadmap and they target these schools, we'll be well on our way," said Geri Palast, executive director of the Campaign for Fiscal Equity.
An Education Department spokeswoman said the city will consider the report's recommendations, while emphasizing that the city has already hired more than 1,300 additional teachers this year using state funds.
Parents from across the state march on the Capitol in Albany to show support for CFE.
CFE v. State of New York
In 2006, after 13 years in the Courts, the New York State Court of Appeals affirmed the right of every public school student in New York to the opportunity for a sound basic education and the stateâ€™s responsibility to adequately fund this right, but deferred to the Governor and the Legislature to determine the appropriate amount. more >