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Friday, June 13, 2014

Please attend class size hearings starting next week and make your voices heard!



As the result of a lawsuit, DOE is holding borough hearings starting next week on their use of $531 million in annual Contract for Excellence state funds. A flyer you can post in your school is here.  Places and times are below.

These funds were approved with the requirement that NYC submit a plan to lower class size, as well as hold borough hearings to gain feedback from parents and community members.  Yet for the last four years, the DOE had refused to hold these hearings until they were sued in court.

Even worse, class sizes have increased each year since this law was passed-- and are now the largest in 15 years in grades K-3 and the largest in grades 4-8 since 2002.

Class size reduction is the #1 priority of parents citywide, according to the DOE’s own surveys, and the constitutional right of NYC children, according to the state’s highest court.

Please come and make your voices heard!  Let me know if you would like some talking points in advance, and/or class size data specific to your district or borough.

Manhattan: Tuesday, June 17 – 7:00-8:00 p.m. – Stuyvesant HS (345 Chambers Street, New York, NY 10282)

Brooklyn: Wednesday, June 18 – 6:30-7:30 p.m. – Edward R Murrow HS (1600 Avenue L, Brooklyn, NY 11230)

Bronx: Thursday, June 19 – 6:30-7:30 p.m. – M.S. 223 (360 E.145th Street, Bronx, NY 10454)

Staten Island: Monday, June 23 – 6:30-7:30 p.m. – Petridis Complex (715 Ocean Terrace, Staten Island, NY 10301)

Queens: Wednesday, June 25 – 6:30-7:30 p.m. – Long Island City HS (14-30 Broadway, Queens, NY 11106)
                    
Last month we sent a letter co-signed by 15 Community Education Council presidents and other parent leaders, urging the Chancellor to allocate specific funds for class size reduction.  We also posted an online petition that now has more than 400 signatures.

Nevertheless, the DOE has NOT allocated any funds specifically for class size reduction, and never mentions any obligation to reduce class size in its proposed C4E "non-plan” here.

Despite Mayor de Blasio’s campaign promise to comply with the city’s 2007 plan to lower class size to no more than 20 students per class in grades K-3, 23 in grades 4-8 and 25 in HS,  the DOE’s new proposed plan merely leaves it up to principals to decide how they want to spend these funds among five choices, and allows them to use the funds to minimize INCREASES in class size, which by no definition means lowering class size.

Public comments are due July 19– and can either be submitted at the hearings or by emailing ContractsForExcellence@schools.nyc.gov.
 

Please let us know at info@classsizematters.org if you can attend these important hearings.  I know it is a busy time of year, but I urge you to do it for your children and all NYC public school kids. 

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