Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Deadline is tomorrow; please send an email about class size today!

Please send a message to the DOE  today; protesting the failure of the DOE to reduce class size and have allowed class sizes to increase to levels that  are damaging our children’s education and chance at success.    
The deadline for comment on the city’s defective Contracts for Excellence plan is tomorrow night, Wednesday, Nov. 23. 
Class sizes are now the largest they have been since eleven years in grades K-3, and are larger than they were when the state’s highest court said our children were denied their constitutional right to an adequate education in the Campaign for Fiscal Equity case, as a result of excessive class sizes.   In addition, we believe that there is $180 million missing from the city’s CFE plan, compared to the $531 million allocated by the state for this purpose.
We now have powerpoints showing  the rise in class size in your district’s schools, as well as other information  how the city has failed our children.  (If you don’t see your district, just email me at info@classsizematters.org and we will send it to you.) 
Already four different Community Education Councils have passed resolutions, protesting the sharp increase in class sizes and DOE’s violations of law: District 1 in Manhattan, Districts 20 and 21 in Brooklyn, and District 30 in Queens.  Some of these call for City Council hearings and others for State hearings on the matter.  If you would like a sample resolution for your CEC or PTA, let me know; the one just passed by CEC 21 is here; CEC 1 is here.  
Again, the deadline for comment is tomorrow night Wednesday, Nov. 23, and DOE is supposed to send all public comments to the State Education department along with its proposed C4E plan. It is important that the state Commissioner know how dissatisfied parents are with the Bloomberg administration’s dereliction of duty to our children.  
A sample email is below; feel free to change it in any way you would like. Do it for your child, and do it for all NYC public school children.
And then have a happy Thanksgiving. 
 As a parent, I would like to protest that class sizes have now increased four years in a row, citywide and in my child’s school, despite the fact that the city was mandated to reduce class size in all grades starting in 2007.  This is the final year of the city’s five year class size reduction plan, and class sizes in the early grades are now the largest in eleven years.
DOE has failed to allocate a single penny specifically towards class size reduction and instead has cut repeatedly cut school budgets, even when they received millions more from the state in C4E funding and overall education aidThe city’s refusal to reduce class size has severely damaged my child’s opportunity to learn.    
 [optional: My child is in  [ fill in name]  school, in district  [fill in number], with  a class size of x in [fill in] grade. ]
 The state should immediately force the city to revise its Contract for Excellence proposal, by allocating the $180 million missing from the plan that the state provided, and use it to hire more teachers.  The state should also implement a corrective action plan that would require the city exercise proper oversight and start reducing class size, instead of continuing to slash school budgets, eliminating thousands of teaching positions and wasting precious education dollars on failed programs that do not help our children learn, like more testing, technology, consultants and bureaucrats. 
Otherwise, the state as well as the city will have failed to do its duty by NYC’s children.
Yours sincerely,
Your name, child’s school and district
Email address

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