Saturday, July 2, 2022

Anger and distress among parents, elected officials & advocates at Gov. Hochul refusing to sign class size bill

NY Post article about this is here;

For immediate release: July 1, 2022

Contact: Marina Marcou-O’Malley: 518-894-6834, 

Leonie Haimson: 917-435-9329;


Anger and distress at Gov. Hochul refusing to sign class size bill

Parents, education advocates and elected officials reacted with dismay and alarm at the fact that Gov. Hochul signed the mayoral control bill last night without also signing the class size bill, A10498/S09460  at the same time.

“It is inexcusable and unfathomable that the Governor would refuse to sign the class size bill when she signed the Mayoral control bill. The legislature passed this bill almost unanimously. The only thing standing between smaller class sizes and a better learning environment that students desperately need is the Governor’s signature. Parents fought for the Campaign for Fiscal Equity and won. The Governor recognized the need to act on that and delivered two years of funding for Foundation Aid, so that, among other things, class sizes can be reduced. Thirty years after the CFE lawsuit was filed , class sizes are worse, not better. We urge the governor to sign the bill and signal that she continues to recognize what needs to happen for our students’ sake,” said Marina Marcou-O’Malley, Policy and Operations Director for the Alliance for Quality Education. 

Leonie Haimson, Executive Director of Class Size Matters said, “The fact that the Governor signed the Mayoral control bill without signing the bill that would require him to reduce class size at the same time is particularly outrageous. There can be no accountability without smaller classes for NYC kids, which the State’s highest court said were needed to provide them with their right to a sound basic education under the State’s constitution.  Smaller classes are also the top priority of K12 parents nearly every year on the DOE’s own surveys, and the class size bill passed 59-4 in the State Senate; 147-2 in the Assembly.  It is particularly outrageous that the Governor has chosen to renew the Mayor’s control unconditionally,  just at a time when he is slashing the budget for schools, causing class sizes to increase rather than decrease and students to lose critical programs and services."

“New York City’s parents are sick of our children’s education being used as a political bargaining chip. We passed the class size legislation with a considerable bipartisan margin, and thirty-eight elected officials from Congress, the state, and the city, as well as over 7700 petition signatories  urged the Governor to sign the class size bill this week. There was no such groundswell for the renewal of Mayoral control. Signing it into law would be such an easy win for the Governor. The last-minute, late night negotiations have become a pattern in this administration’s first term, and it is hurting our children,” said State Senator Jessica Ramos.

“Large class sizes were a main driver behind the Campaign for Fiscal Equity (CFE) lawsuit I brought against New York State with parents in 1993. The 2007 court ruling found that, ‘tens of thousands of students placed in overcrowded classrooms is enough to represent a systemic failure,’” said Senator Robert Jackson. “New York City governance must make class size reduction a priority. It is a shame that the class size reduction legislation was not signed into law with Mayoral Accountability. The resulting impact of school budget cuts will harm students further as class sizes increase, affecting educational outcomes. I urge the Governor to follow through on the state’s obligation under the CFE ruling and sign S9460 into law.  Answer the call of families across the city, sign that bill!” 

“We ask that the Governor sign the class size bill as soon as possible, which would also help to limit the Mayor’s damaging cuts to school budgets, which if left unchecked will further undermine the ability of NYC children to receive the quality education that they desperately need now more than ever before,” said State Senator Julia Salazar (SD-18).

The Governor must make good on her promise and sign the class size reduction bill. It was part of the deal for renewing mayoral control. The Mayor's dyslexia initiative needs smaller classes to be effective. As a former teacher of deaf students, I know just how critical smaller class sizes are to students’ ability to succeed. Small classes improve outcomes for all students, especially those of color and those from economically disadvantaged backgrounds. Parents and educators are reeling--stretched to the limits by the pandemic and now with school budget cuts--and we can't let them down,” said Assemblymember Jo Anne Simon.

As eminent education historian and advocate Diane Ravitch concluded, “ Governor Kathy Hochul is double crossing the students, teachers, and parents of NYC.”­­­




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