FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Friday, June 3, 2022
Contact: Soojin Choi | firstname.lastname@example.org | 347-556-6335
SENATOR JOHN LIU ON THE PASSAGE OF LEGISLATION TO FINALLY REDUCE CLASS SIZES IN NYC PUBLIC SCHOOLS
Albany, NY- NYS Senator John Liu, Chairperson of the Senate Committee on NYC Education and sponsor of S9460, stated the following about the passage of his bill to reduce class sizes over a five-year period in New York City public schools. The bill passed the Senate 59-4 and the Assembly 147-2. When signed into law by Governor Kathy Hochul, the class sizes in all New York City public schools would be capped at 20 students for kindergarten through third grade; 23 students for fourth through eighth grade; and 25 students for high school by 2027.
Senator Liu stated, “A generation ago, the New York courts ruled in favor of the Campaign for Fiscal Equity (CFE) and found that children throughout New York City were not getting the funding they needed for a sound, basic education. This was, and continues to be, due in large part to excessive class sizes that are numerically larger than the rest of the state and country.
“The 2006 ruling mandated that New York State increase its education funding, which the state started to do but for over a decade provided annual budgets that fell $4 billion short of the full amount. In 2021, the state finally began a 3-year phase-in to fully fund that $4 billion annual shortfall of which NYC’s share is $1.6 billion. Once fully phased-in by April 2023, NYC will receive an additional $1.6 billion annually in school aid from the state.
“Enabling smaller class sizes is among the most significant impacts we as legislators can have on the education of our young people. Smaller class sizes allow for more individualized attention, greater student participation and one-on-one time with teachers. To be clear, this is absolutely not an unfunded mandate that requires cuts to other programs. In fact, the state is providing NYC with an additional $1.6 billion in annual funding to do so, to comply with the letter and spirit of the CFE court decision.
“This class size bill is, in fact, a funded mandate, and it is a huge victory for NYC school kids that will finally fulfill the long-overdue constitutional duty of providing students with a sound, basic education.”