The New York State Education Department has announced that it will be collecting feedback from the public and educators to decide the best way to reduce class sizes by 2028. This is when the state law requires all schools to meet the new requirements. Starting in November, officials will begin to modify policies and re-prioritize programming to reach the class size mandates. Last September, Governor Kathy Hochul signed a five-year plan to reduce class sizes in New York City public schools. According to the state law, 20% of the city's classrooms must comply with the new law each year and reach 100% by 2028. Data from the Education Department shows that approximately 54% of classes already meet the class size targets in schools with the highest percentage of black students.
This is compared to schools with the highest percentage of Asian and white students, where only about a quarter of classes meet the goals. On the other hand, 59% of classes meet the new requirements in schools with the most students from low-income families. The Education Department's plan states that schools with a high number of low-income students are more likely to have smaller classes. New York City officials released a draft of their plan on how they plan to reduce class sizes to comply with the new state law, but they don't plan to make any changes next year.
Officials said they would seek additional classrooms to occupy space; they would work with the city's School Construction Authority on the next capital plan, which would establish construction plans for the school system; and that they would focus on schools with high poverty rates that do not meet the requirements required by law. Under this plan, which should explain how the city will meet the new requirements of the law, class sizes will remain unchanged in September. According to the Education Department, an average of 39% of classes meet the new requirements, meaning they expect to meet the state's requirements for the next school year. The numbers show that schools in grades 6-12 or 9-12 are more likely to have smaller classes, with around 44% of these schools already meeting the new class size requirements.
In contrast, schools with the lowest number of students living in poverty have only 23% of classes that meet the new requirements. To ensure that all New York City public schools comply with state law by 2028, officials are taking steps to reduce class sizes. The Education Department is collecting feedback from educators and members of the public on how best to achieve this goal. They are also focusing on schools with high poverty rates that do not currently meet class size requirements.
Additionally, they are working with the School Construction Authority on a capital plan that will provide additional classrooms for those schools that need them. With these efforts, it is expected that all New York City public schools will be able to meet state law requirements by 2028.