Monday, November 08, 2021


The UFT is going to make a push for lower class size through a City Council bill that would lower class sizes by changing the health code on the maximum occupancy in a classroom. 

Daniel Alicea, from Educators of NYC, has written an open letter to UFT leadership asking the UFT to go much further than the City Council bill if the Union is really serious about lowering class sizes.  Daniel argues that the UFT should back the City Council bill but also to support a plan to get the money from the Campaign for Fiscal Equity settlement and use it toward lowering class size in the UFT Contract where it would be enforceable. In 2005, the UFT while they were giving away many of our rights, for example creating the Absent Teacher Reserve pool, put a clause in the Contract that said in Article 8L d) that if Campaign for Fiscal Equity money was made available, they would set up a labor-management committee for "a program for the reduction of class size in all grades and divisions."  That funding is here sixteen years later but we are not even demanding that it be used to lower class sizes. Daniel's letter is copied in full below along with his resolution for the November Delegate Assembly on class sizes.

Smaller Class Size, Now - An Open Letter to UFT President Michael Mulgrew and UFT leadership
Dan Alicea


I am excited about the prospect of our union finally pushing smaller class sizes in a more meaningful way. 

While I believe we may see some gains out of the City Council bill, we admittedly know it’s tenuous at best as shared by leadership, today.

There are also very serious and valid questions in regards to its enforcement. The specter of an entirely new city council and mayor leaves us a very small window, also, in my opinion. Even this mayor has made no commitments to smaller class size. 

We need teeth on this one. Once and for all.

I am asking we all support the following resolution I hope to share at our next delegate assembly. This issue is too iffy in the hands of bureaucrats when not ironclad, as we have seen with the circles CFE litigation put us in for over 20 years.

I’d also add that we already see the city violate other square footage requirements presently with little to no consequence.

We need a full-court press. If we care about this enough, we must fight for it in every single way available to us, legislatively on a state and city level, contractually, in our future collective bargaining, and in rallying our school communities.

Find the resolution attached.

Please support.

This matters to our children, families, educators, and school communities.

In solidarity,

Daniel Alicea - Special Education teacher/ Delegate, Middle School 53

Resolution to strengthen our commitment to lower class size and hold the NYC DOE accountable for enforcement of class size reduction (working draft)

Whereas: Excessive class sizes have been a consistent problem in NYC public schools for generations; 

Whereas: As of the 2019-20 school year, nearly one third or over 300,000 NYC students were crammed into classes of 30 or more;

Whereas: Reducing class size has been the top priority of NYC public school parents with children in grades K through 12 when asked what changes they would most like to see in their children’s schools, ever since the Department of Education began to administer surveys in 2007; 

Whereas:  According to a  UFT survey, 99% of teachers said that reducing class size would be a “highly effective way” to improve student outcomes, far above any other reform; 

Whereas:  In 2003, in the Campaign for Fiscal Equity (CFE) lawsuit, NY’s highest court determined that NYC public school class sizes were too large to provide students with their constitutional right to a sound basic education, and yet class sizes have increased since that decision was made, particularly in the early grades; 

Whereas: According to research, reducing class size has proven to be one of the best ways to improve student learning and to lead to better grades and test scores, stronger student engagement, lower disciplinary rates, less teacher attrition, and higher graduation and college-going rates;

Whereas: Given the need for social distancing during the Covid pandemic and stronger academic support to make up for disrupted learning conditions, the need for smaller classes is more evident than ever before;  

Whereas:  NYC will receive an additional $530 million in state Foundation aid as a result of the CFE lawsuit this year, to increase to $1.4 billion annually over three years;

Whereas: A bill has been introduced in the State Legislature, S.6296/ A07447 to renew NYC’s obligation to lower class size in all grades as required by the original Contracts for Excellence law, passed in 2007; 

Whereas:    A bill has been introduced in the NYC Council, Int 2374-2021,  to lower classroom capacity and thus class size, starting in the fall of 2021 to be phased in over three years, 

Whereas:  In the May 2005 contract between the UFT and the DOE, it was agreed that “subject to adequate CFE funding,”  a Labor/Management committee would be formed to look into several issues, among them “a program for the reduction of class size in all grades and divisions.”

Whereas:  According to a 2019 study  of 124 large districts , which included the 100 largest districts in the country and the largest district in each state, the average class size limits were lower in every grade than the contractual class size caps in NYC; 

Whereas:  The class size caps in the UFT contract have not changed in over fifty years; 

Be it Resolved:  That the UFT will demand that the DOE immediately establish a Labor-Management Committee to come up with a plan to lower class size in all grades and divisions, given that the full CFE funding will be provided to NYC over the next three years; 

Be it Resolved: That the UFT will urge the New York State Governor and the Legislature to adopt S.6296 and A07447,  and for the NYC Council to adopt Int 2374-2021;

Be it Resolved:  That the UFT will prioritize this as one of our top demands in upcoming contractual negotiations to align the contractual class size caps with the city’s 2007 state-approved C4E class size goals, including no more than 20 students per class in grades K-3; 23 students per class in grades 4-8; and 25 students in high school, to be phased in over the next four years;

Be it Resolved:  That the UFT officers will report back to the Delegate Assembly each month on the progress made on each of these four goals.


Anonymous said...

Never has happened, never will. Bullshit issue. Pass the Hopium pipe.

Anonymous said...

Reducing class size has been a proven strategy to increase student outcomes, yet the city always ignores it. This should have been the first priority in the renewal program. The biggest problem they will face is rooming. High Schools will have to add extra periods to the day in order to accommodate the smaller class sizes which would mean people would have to work much later, pds will be all thrown off and kids on teams or who have after school jobs will face issues. It's a good idea in theory, but in practice it won't be practical.

Jenn said...

At least teachers have averaged 1.3% raises over the last 12 years. With this inflation, how can a para support herself?

WASHINGTON (AP) — Inflation at the wholesale level rose 8.6% last month from a year earlier, matching September’s record annual gain and offering more evidence that inflationary pressures are not yet easing.

Anonymous said...

Thank you Jenn. Para max monthly income is equivalent to or less than (depending on tax status) the average monthly rent for a 1br apt in NYC. these are literal starvation rates. We need a gigantic increase to para salary. Something close to a 35% increase, bringing paras into the 80k range.

Anonymous said...

Inflation keeps on roaring.

Nice job getting the uft members 10% over 7.5 years.

For 8 months in a row, the producer prices index has increased at the highest pace on record.

Anonymous said...

What? People on this blog complaining about low salaries...negotiated by the people and union you keep voting for.

And then complaining about inflation on a dem only blog.

James, tell the para making $30k in NYC that inflation is transitory.

Sorry Jenn.

Remember when the Biden admin said inflation wasn’t real?

Or that there’s no crisis at the border?

Or that the Afghanistan withdrawal was a success?

Or that they’d never mandate vaccines?

Or that CRT is fake?

Or that illegal immigrants wouldn’t get cash settlements?

Anonymous said...

LOL. Yeah, funny. Inflation will make it harder for paras, you & your family to gather around the dinner table this year. The price of:

Turkey up 27%
Apples up 47%
Potatoes up 13%
Carrots up 41%
Cranberries up 5.2%
Costco pumpkin pie is up 17%

But I'm sure the 1% raises are cool on the pro union blog.

Anonymous said...

336. The problem is capitalism. are you ready to take it on or you just gonna complain about neoliberals and their right wing actions, and then take even more conservative positions that support the same system and offer zero change?

Anonymous said...

336 says tell the paras to continue to starve.

Anonymous said...

3:36 did you just find out ALL of our politicians lie?? forget about liberals and conservatives. neither group will ever solve this country's problems.

Anonymous said...

4:20 do you read the blog? this is why we are organizing, because no, they are not cool. we want more. we want a better union. we want to change leadership. we don't want to quit, and just take it as it comes, in the way that your comment suggests you do. you gonna join the opposition, or just remind us of what we already know.. that our union leadership is trash.

Anonymous said...

Mulgrew is a stooge of the Democratic party.
He will never advocate for smaller class size.

He will always willingly advocate for cuts in your benefits
and your post retirement benefits. For example the bait and switch
to Medicare Advantage which is a cost saver for Democratic controlled NY city.

Smaller class size is not a cost saver for Democratic politicians.
Needless to mention, smaller class sizes would lead to much better
educational outcomes for children of color.

Smaller class size is not important to Mulgrew or the Democrats.
They have ignored the call for smaller class size for the last 20 to 30 years.

Anonymous said...

511. he is absolutely a stooge. vote him out!! and pass that message along to all your coworkers

Anonymous said...

So all you dumbasses that loved that free government money are learning a valuable lesson. Free money comes at a price, and you'll pay it back by a factor of ten.

Anonymous said...

Yes, tell your coworkers.

We are all being played BIG TIME.

Anonymous said...

We haven’t hit the bottom with Mulgrew yet.

Believe me, there is more to come.

Anonymous said...

Unfortunately, the fate many of us what for Mulgrew, would bring us in front of the World Court

Anonymous said...

I'd bet money that @7:19 is one of those who brags about collecting "free government money" by way of collecting a teacher's check while not working. Yet everyone else is a dumbazz for getting stimulus money. But not him, no siree. He sent his right back "return to sender". SURE!

Anonymous said...

I bet money that 7:19 is a dedicated hardworking teacher who understands people should work if they need money.

Anonymous said...

@7:28 then he (and you re probably him) is an even bigger dumbazz because people receiving the money were working people. Ya know, like the millionaire Mnuchin and other millionaires who received their tens of thousands. But yeah, lets bash the working class for their $1200 stimulus or $300 a month. Real dumbazzes.

Jenn said...

More good news for the low paid paras/teachers...

SEN. MANCHIN: "The threat posed by record inflation to the American people is not 'transitory' and is instead getting worse."

U.S. consumer prices jump 6.2% in October, the biggest inflation surge in more than 30 years

Anonymous said...

Many who are getting freebies are not the working class. There is no work requirement to get all the free money.

Anonymous said...

1025 the capitalist class gets "freebies" all the time. let's punch up and go after them.

Anonymous said...

Is this ever brought up at uft meetings?

U.S. consumer prices rose last month at the fastest annual pace since 1990, cementing high inflation as a hallmark of the Covid-19 pandemic recovery and eroding spending power even as wages surge

Anonymous said...

1225, so go ahead. Just remember that the top 50% pays all of the federal income taxes and the top 20% pay far more than the other 80%. Everyone should be paid to work.

Anonymous 5 said...

Let's not forget about the Freebies that Wealthy individuals and Corporations receive. It's extremely disingenuous to pretend or ignore that they don't.

Anonymous said...

Joe Biden on America's economy under Joe Biden:

"They go to the store or go online and they can't find what they always want."

Anonymous said...

404 not by rate. the top 20% pay less than other tax payers by rate, and some pay nothing at all, and then get money back. just go read ProPublica's lengthy report on this that came out a few months back.

Anonymous said...

@10:25 so now the argument is welfare? Is that the free money you're talking about? That's what's causing the economy to spiral downward? You have no idea what you're talking about and are now just talking nonsense.

Anonymous said...

4:04 what would possess someone to advocate against their own interests? A screw loose probably, and too much right wing media.

waitingforsupport said...

@635 pm... do you notice how people hate "democrats" and "liberals" and "CRT" and so called "social justice warriors". They love proclaiming that they are not social workers blah bla blah. However, they love bringing up social issues such as welfare. They only want to talk about the low hanging social issues but bury their head when the CAUSES are brought up. 1025 talk about "freebies" lmao. Freebies??? They need a lesson on America. Clueless.

waitingforsupport said...

@1045 pm...

waitingforsupport said...

@728 am.... I hope so. However there are folks in here who have acknowledged NOT teaching . They are scammers. They are collecting welfare.

waitingforsupport said...

@1225 pm... you remain on point. I love it

Ani said...

Build more schools

Anonymous said...

Everyone talking about the rich paying their fare share of taxes never talks about the loopholes that allow the rich to borrow against their millions in stocks and never pay a dime in tax because it’s not a realized gain. We all have gains not realized. Stocks go up and down all the time. But the really rich have mechanisms and money managers in place to make sure their wealthy clients can live luxuriously by borrowing tax free. The rest of us have to actually sell stock to live off the money. When we sell we pay tax on the gain. This is my understanding of what’s really wrong with the tax code. Ideologically speaking I don’t want to fund the lives of people who don’t want to work or who have children they can’t afford. I don’t want to fund corporate welfare either. I don’t want to fund regime change wars unless every member of congress has a son or daughter sent to the front lines of that war. One can be a conservative and dislike welfare recipients in all forms. Welfare moms and dads, corporations, military industrial complex. Many people here assume if you believe one thing you must also believe another. Those assumptions are imaginary. I reject CRT praxis in schools. The imaginary leap is I reject teaching students that the American government has treated many citizens horrifically including and arguably the most heinous example being the American slave. Japanese-American internment and countless other examples. I can believe these things and still think our founding fathers started something miraculously beautiful. At our core America is a country that strives to be good, fair and just. It’s people want that. When you attack to destroy America’s foundation you attack American freedom itself. It was those founding documents we built upon that got us the 15th and 19th amendments (voting rights for blacks and women). I’m a female. I’m not permanently scarred because women were once considered the property of their husbands. I’m grateful I’m in America where we did away with that kind of thinking rather than living in a place like Afghanistan where I can be killed by my husband for being raped or where a 9 year old could be sold to a grown man in a forced marriage. Afghanistan has no solid foundation of freedom. We do.

Anonymous said...

9:43. American freedom is an oxymoron.

waitingforsupport said...

943 you reject the govt teaching about this but not that. I reject your rejection. Why? Because a false us history continues to be taught. This false history misled me and continues to mislead many many others. Why must one learn about black american history in February? Why was the tulsa massacre hidden? Why didn't I learn about the many many contributions of black Americans during my school years? Do you think that is the American foundation we should celebrate? I don't want your version of history. I don't want my version of history. I want the facts. The unmitigated facts. The reason Civil rights were enacted is because people refused to accept the bullshit. Many were murdered for these rights. You're welcome. If not for our fight, shit would still be "just fine". Thank God my village lived a life of strength courage perseverance love and honor. I don't tolerate the bullshit.

Anonymous said...

9:43 here. I agree with you on teaching history, Waiting For Support. Black American history IS American history. Many more aspects of it should be taught and not just in February.

Anonymous said...

7:16, true, but there's no reason why black history cannot be taught on a regular basis. It's up to the teacher to incorporate it into their lesson in a relevant way.

Anonymous said...

It’s up to the teacher to follow the curriculum. Why is there not enough Black history taught? Ask the democrats who have controlled NY education for quite some time. The people they appoint select curriculum, not teachers.

Anonymous said...

@8:20 some schools, including mine do have a Black History curriculum. But that's just EXCUSES. Anyone can infuse black history into lessons if they really wanted to, in fact, that the who idea behind lessons being culturally relevant. One can also display tons of inspiring images all around their classroom. The English curriculum is very open to a variety of text, and any teacher can select Maya Angelou, Frederick Douglass, Toni Morrison, and any other number of black authors. In Global, one can spend a little more time on Mansa Musa, and there is no shortage of black history one can include in the U.S. History curriculum. Stop making EXCUSES, and if you think for one minute that the crybaby Republicans would even want to include any real Black History then you are completely delusional and sound really dumb.