Sue Edelman has an article in the NY Post showing declining student enrollments in NYC public schools.
Here is the first part:
Enrollment in city public schools has fallen below 890,000 students — down from more than a million kids a decade ago, according to internal Department of Education records viewed by The Post.
In late January, DOE officials pegged this year’s enrollment at “approximately 960,000 students” — a 4 percent drop over last year after 43,000 kids exited the system. The latest school registers indicate an additional loss of 70,000 students.
The DOE disputed that number last week — but refused to give the current enrollment. On Saturday night, the DOE released figures based on what it called audited counts on Nov. 13, 2020, putting citywide enrollment at 1,094,138. Then spokeswoman Danielle Filson tweeted that the number was “955,500 DOE students plus charters for a total of 1.1M”
Remembering how the student enrollment numbers used to decline each school year at Jamaica High School as the school year progressed due to students dropping out or moving away while fewer pupils enrolled mid-year, it is probably not that unusual for there to be a drop in student numbers during any school year systemwide. That decline is probably being accelerated due to the pandemic in 2020-2021. It is possible that Sue's numbers and the DOE's audited numbers from the fall might both be correct and the drop could be real but not that alarming at the end of May.
Looking ahead, nobody really can project with any degree of accuracy how many families will come back and how many new students will enroll in September but let's assume for argument that Sue is right and there is a significant drop in students attending NYC public schools and that the decline will continue in the fall. Shouldn't lower enrollments combined with more federal and state money and a no-layoff agreement between the UFT and City-DOE that lasts through June 2022, as well as no restrictions on DOE staff hiring lead to lower class sizes?
I'm wondering how lower class sizes won't happen in September with all of the forces that are in place. The UFT inexplicably is only demanding lower class sizes in a mere one hundred schools in the Union's five-point plan for reopening in-person schools for everyone. If ever there was a time to demand it across the board, it is right now. The funds are there and there might even be more space available. I do not for the life of me comprehend why the UFT is not getting strongly behind state Senator Robert Jackson's bill to lower class sizes in NYC.
Maybe the UFT is distracted. Perhaps President Michael Mulgrew is too busy spending all of his lobbying energy trying to convince Mayor Bill de Blasio to sign on to the Early Retirement Incentive for all titles and license areas at the last minute. May 31 is the deadline for the Board of Education (Department of Education) to sign on for the ERI.
We had an email sent out a week ago from Mulgrew on the ERI. Radio silence since then. All we have heard this weekend is DOENUTS blog speculation. Read his odds. His guess is as good as anyone's today. Once we have more, we will try to blog again.