Beth Fertig is the contributing editor for education, covering the New York City public school system for WNYC on air and online at SchoolBook.org. She has covered education in the city for more than 15 years. Beth is the author of Why cant u teach me 2 read? Three Students and a Mayor Put Our Schools to the Test (FSG Books) which grew out of a radio series on the low graduation rate for special education students. Follow her @bethfertig.
Dept. of Ed Says Small Classes Cost Big Money
Friday, March 13, 2009
New York, NY —
The city's Department of Education says it can't afford to reduce class sizes as much as many parents would like. At a State Assembly Education Committee hearing today, Deputy Chancellor Chris Cerf laid out what it would cost to reduce average class sizes by 10 percent.
CERF: The operating budget cost of that would be about $800 million and the capital budget associated with that is measured in the tens of billions of dollars.
Cerf says the city DID use state funds dedicated to reducing class sizes, but that most grades experienced a recent increase because of mid year cuts in 2008 that forced principals to cut back hundreds of teachers.
Queens Assemblywoman Catherine Nolan told Cerf classes are still too large in middle schools and high schools.
Today's hearing was the fourth in a series about mayoral control of the public schools. The state law that put Bloomberg in charge of the system expires in June.