NYC class sizes could shrink under state bill, but schools chancellor warns of possible cuts

NYC class sizes could shrink under state bill, but schools chancellor warns of possible cuts

New York City’s schools chancellor criticized a state bill to cut down class sizes as a plan that prioritizes the number of students in classrooms over other, critical issues.

This bill would lower class sizes to 20 students in the younger grades and 25 for most high school subjects. Money to fund the plan would have to be taken from school safety programs, dyslexia screenings, social workers, school nurses, summer programming, supports for special student populations and the expansion of community schools, Department of Education head David Banks said Wednesday.

“Make no mistake, it will lead to large cuts in these critical programs,” he said. “This should not be a choice that school leaders have to make.”

With enrollment falling, many K-8 classes in New York City have an average number of 20-25 students, according to DOE data. Most general education classes at city high schools have an average of 21-29 students.

If the state proposal goes through, it would cost $500 million a year for kindergarten through fifth grade classes alone, city education officials said. There could also be billions in capital costs for building additional schools and classroom seats.

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