New York City Parents Sound Off on Crowded Classrooms

Autumn in New York brings cooler days and a new school year. But it also brings angry parents who say the city's public schools suffer from chronic overcrowding.

The city council's education committee held a hearing about crowded schools today. Parent Irene Kaufman says that's why she switched her children from public to private school.

KAUFMAN: And I was heartbroken to do it. I think young kids in particular deserve to walk down the street holding their parent’s hand to a school that is in the heart of their community, but my son will be in middle school in 2 years, in district 2. That’s looking at thirty five to forty kids in a class and it’s just not right.

REPORTER: A Department of Education spokesperson says the city is committed to adding more than 5,000 new seats to schools in Kaufman's district by the year 2012.

According to the mayor's management report, 20% of New York City elementary schools and 59% of high schools exceed capacity.