NYC must slash class sizes under a new law. The neediest schools stand to benefit least.

NYC must slash class sizes under a new law. The neediest schools stand to benefit least.

When Gov. Kathy Hochul signed a new law last year that would slash class sizes in New York City, praise came in from many quarters. Teachers, along with their union, hailed the move as a victory that would improve classroom conditions and boost learning. Education activists said smaller class sizes would benefit the most vulnerable students. Lawmakers in Albany, who overwhelmingly passed the bill, rejoiced. 

There are good reasons for this enthusiasm. Studies have found that students often learn more in smaller classes. Some research suggests that children from low-income families, who constitute a majority of New York City students, benefit the most. Plus, smaller classes are popular with parents and teachers alike.

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