Friday, December 9, 2022

Play

Sen. Markey rallies with unions and airport workers in D.C; PA Democrats 'showed up' for rural voters; Canadian mining expansion threatens tribes and watersheds in the Northwest.

Play

The U.S. House of Representatives passes same-sex marriage protections, Brittany Griner comes back to the U.S, while Paul Whelan remains detained in Russia, and a former anti-abortion lobbyist talks politics and the Supreme Court.

Play

The Farm Workforce Modernization Act could help more farmers, the USDA is stepping-up to support tribal nations, and Congress is urged to revive the expanded child tax credit.

New Law to Cap Class Sizes in NYC Schools

Play

Monday, September 26, 2022   

Class sizes in New York City schools will be limited by 2028 - the result of a new state law.

The law will cap Kindergarten through third-grade classes at 20 students, 23 students in grades four through eight, and 25 students for high school classes. Gym classes would be limited to 40 students.

This effort originated in the mid-2000s with the first "Contract for Excellence" that indicated class sizes needed to be changed for students to have a better learning experience.

United Federation of Teachers President Michael Mulgrew said he thinks the caps have been desperately needed - but said the city's Department of Education hasn't seen it that way.

"The Department of Ed really does not want to do it, so that's why the law had to be passed," said Mulgrew. "The rest of the state already lowers its class sizes; there's no law telling them they have to do it. But here in New York City, the entire legislature understood that if they didn't pass a law, the Department of Ed would never have done it. And this has been a constant struggle for years with them."

Mulgrew said he feels much of the opposition to limiting class sizes has been part of politicizing education funding overall.

He said, in the bout of "bureaucracy versus the classroom," the classroom has won. But the caps won't take effect for several more school years.

Mulgrew cited Francis Lewis High School in Queens as an example, with more than 4,000 students and a student-teacher ratio of 30-to-one. Just this year, the school got an annex building, after years of overcrowding.

As a former teacher, he predicted the new law will benefit educators as well as students.

"During the pandemic, this is what the teachers found," said Mulgrew, "because only 30% of the children came to school. And they were like, 'We were able to spend so much time with our children, and really started helping them with things they were struggling with,' because they had the time to actually do that."

New York City's school system is the largest in the nation, with over one-million students attending more than 1,800 schools - although recent reports indicate enrollment is on the decline.



get more stories like this via email
A bill approved by Congress repeals the federal Defense of Marriage Act. That law, passed in 1996, prohibited the federal government from recognizing same-sex marriages. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

Congress has signed off on a bill that preserves federal protections for same-sex and interracial marriages. A legal expert in Wisconsin says it …


Social Issues

Airport service workers rallied in Washington, D.C., Thursday to demand Congress pass legislation ensuring they receive a livable wage with stronger …

Social Issues

Before the pandemic, one in five people in Los Angeles County lacked consistent access to food - and in 2021, one in four low-income families …


According to the Georgia Department of Economic Development, the Peach State is sixth in the nation for public EV charging stations, at more than 1,500 outlets. (Michael Flippo/Adobe Stock)

Environment

Electric vehicles are an environmentally friendly way to get from one place to another, but the lack of charging stations often limits drivers to …

Social Issues

As Americans make end-of-year donations to their favorite causes, those that help children with cancer and their families say these households need …

The Farm Labor Organizing Committee was founded in 1968 to defend the rights and basic human dignity of farm workers regardless of immigration status. (Adobe Stock)

Environment

A labor union representing agricultural workers in Ohio, North Carolina and Virginia says it isn't waiting around for federal immigration reform to …

Social Issues

West Virginia's prison population has ballooned, and formerly incarcerated people face numerous obstacles when they are released. A Charleston-based …

Environment

As the year comes to a close, the Sierra Club of Connecticut is looking back on some of its accomplishments and challenges. The group focuses on …

 

Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021