Lawmakers print city for numbers on public school enrollment
Amid concerns that enrollment in the city’s public schools has fallen since the outbreak of the pandemic, officials with the New York City Department of Education said it is preparing to release new numbers in the coming days. The city will finalize its listings by October 31st, and releases the number shortly thereafter.
At a New York City Council hearing on class size on Wednesday, Councilman Mark Trigger questioned officials about the current total.
“We can give you that number very soon,” said the Academic Vice President for Education, Lawrence Pendergast. “We are committed to sharing that data at the end of October and we will honor that commitment.”
“The Department of Education knows the number of students in each class per day,” said Treasure, who chairs the council’s education committee. “They are choosing not to participate.”
Officials said last winter The number of registrations decreased in the year 2020-1 to about 960,000, And Kindergarten applications drop for fall 2021. The numbers have been declining for years from 1.1 million, but parents and teachers expect the total to have fallen even more now that families have left the city for the suburbs and parents frustrated with hybrid learning last year are enrolling their children. charter And narrow schools. some Parents kept their children at home because they are worried about exposure to COVID-19.
Pedro Dones, a middle school teacher in the Bronx, said he’s heard school enrollment has fallen by 100 students from about 950 cases before the pandemic. “We miss our kids and we want our kids in the building,” Dones said. However, Dones said the apparent drop in enrollment led to smaller class sizes, which boosted student learning.
“Awesome things are happening in my class because of this,” he said. “Smaller classes will always lead to more effective instruction and community building in the classroom.”
The issue of class size was central to Wednesday’s session: The new legislation will cut classes By increasing the space required for each student, both to improve academic outcomes and as a health precaution. It will require a minimum of 35 square feet per student, up from the current ratio of 20 feet per student. This can shrink the average number of classes to 14 to 21 students, depending on the size of the room. Currently, high school classes have 34 students, middle school classes have 30 students, and first through sixth classes are 32 students. If passed, the law would reduce ranks over a three-year period starting in 2022.
But Education Ministry officials who testified before the council on Wednesday said the bill was impractical.
“The proposed legislation will create a seat deficit at every academic level,” said Chief Academic Officer Linda Chen. She said the de Blasio administration has committed to building an additional 83,000 public school seats through 2025, about 50,000 of which have already been added.
Using enrollment numbers in 2019-20, nearly half of the city’s schools will not be able to comply with class size legislation, affecting more than 100,000 students, the city’s independent budget office said. Classrooms that make room for bookshelves, reading mats, or teachers’ desks will be even more crushing. Schools will also have to hire additional teachers to accommodate the smaller classes.
But Leonie Heimson, executive director of the advocacy group Class Size Matters, emphasized that class size is the key to student success.
“Students who are in smaller classes do better in every measurable way. They get better grades, higher test scores, and are more likely to graduate high school, go to college and graduate with a STEM degree.” “Disciplinary problems also drop sharply when classes are smaller.”
She said that after a year and a half of learning disruption, and ongoing health risks from the pandemic, the need for smaller classes is greater than ever, and the city has Infusion of federal and state funding to achieve that.
“If we can’t finally agree as a city in the midst of the pandemic that we need a plan… to reduce classroom size, I don’t know where we will ever get,” said the UTA president. Michael Mulgrew.