Class size grievance time is upon us. I have worked in a setting since 2014 where oversize classes are frowned upon by the administration. At Middle College High School my class sizes are between 21 and 27. This is manageable at the high school level.
However I am hearing horror stories of the Department of Education packing students in oversize classes. The DOE is once again misusing the half class size exception in the contract to pack academic subject class sizes with over 40 students in them. The DOE does not wish to create new sections of a subject class if the class won't have at least half of that 34 in it. A first grade teacher also told me recently about 33 6 year old kids in the class she was teaching. These stories should never happen.
The DOE agreed to settle the Campaign for Fiscal Equity lawsuit in 2007. The goals in the law to be achieved by 2011 was for these to be the average class size numbers in New York City schools.
Grades K-3: 19.9
Grades 4-8: 22.9
Grades 9-12: 24.5
Are you laughing or crying as you read these goals that are in the law?
The UFT contract also mentions the CFE funding in Article 8L where it says:
With regard to the long term recommendations the 2005 Fact Finders made subject to adequate CFE funding, the parties shall establish a Labor Management Committee to discuss the following issues: ...d)a program for the reduction of class size in all grades and divisions.
We have been hearing for about a decade about how the UFT is going to fight for CFE funding to lower class sizes.
Even the class size limits in the contract (K: 25, Grades 1-6: 32, Grades 7-8: 33, Grades 9-12: 34, gym in middle schools and high schools and required music in high schools: 50.
The exceptions to these Article 7M contractual class size limits are wide enough to drive several trucks through. The UFT won't even demand that the loopholes be taken out of the contract even though the law says funding should be provided for significantly lower limits than our contract provides for. The UFT seldom uses the leverage they have. Go figure.
Anybody else want to chime in on class sizes? Chapter leaders should have grieved all oversize classes for teachers after yesterday.