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Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Please sign our letter to Klein and Liu re federal jobs funds

Yesterday the President signed an education jobs bill that will provide $10 billion to save an estimated 160,000 teaching jobs nationwide

According to news reports, it will send about $608 million to NY State; and an estimated $200 million to NYC. Thanks to those of you that called or emailed the Congress about this critical bill. (You can see how your House member voted here.)

These funds are desperately needed to prevent the projected loss of 2,000 teaching positions in NYC schools this fall, which, along with a continued growth in enrollment, would otherwise lead to drastically increased class sizes.

As you know, class sizes have already risen on average for the last two years; and last year, more than half of Kindergarten students were in classes of 25 or more in many schools. This is simply unacceptable, especially as the city promised to reduce class sizes in all grades in return for receiving nearly a billion dollars in extra state funds.

Please sign onto our letter to Chancellor Klein below, urging him to use these new federal funds to avert the loss of any teaching positions so that class sizes do not increase, and the City Comptroller to provide rigorous oversight to ensure that these funds are used appropriately.

Please email me at with your name, school, borough, and leadership position or other organizational affiliation (if any). If you would like that affiliation to be starred with an asterix (meaning affiliation for identification purposes only) please let me know that as well.

Thanks for your support, and please forward this message to others who care.

Dear Chancellor Klein and Comptroller Liu:

As you know, the Congress passed and the President signed an education jobs bill that will provide approximately $200 million in federal funds for New York City schools.

Chancellor, we urge you to use these funds immediately to avert the loss of any teaching positions. Otherwise, the budget cuts already imposed are expected to lead to the elimination of 2,000 teaching positions and cause damaging increases in class size, especially as student enrollment is increasing.

Comptroller Liu, we urge you to implement strict oversight to ensure that these funds are used appropriately. Over the last two years, class sizes have risen sharply despite the city’s promise to reduce them in exchange for taking nearly a billion dollars in additional state aid.

The need for smaller classes has been the top priority of parents in the Department of Education’s parent surveys for as long as these surveys have been given.

Class size reduction is one of the very few reforms that, according to the federal government’s Institute for Education Sciences, has been proven to improve student achievement.

It is critical that these federal funds go directly to the classroom where they belong, so that the city’s children can learn in classes that are as small as possible .

Yours sincerely,

Leonie Haimson, Executive Director, Class Size Matters

Add your name here: Name, school, borough, leadership position or other affiliation (if any)

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