The number of elementary school students in classes of 30 or more has tripled in the last three years because of budget cuts and lack of teachers, according to a new report released by Council Member Brad Lander, D-Park Slope, says the New York Times’ School Book blog.
Lander’s report found that 31,079 students in first through fifth grade were now in large classes, as opposed to only 9,756 in the 2008-9 school year, says the article, also finding that fourth graders and fifth graders are the most likely to be in large classes.
School Book says that, according to Lander’s report, about 14 percent of current fourth graders are in classes of 30 or more students, compared with 5.5 percent during the 2008-9 school year. The article add that, of fifth graders, about 17 percent were in large classes, compared with 6.5 percent three years ago. The class-size limit for both grades is 32 students, which is set by the city and the teachers’ union.
Lander’s 39th Council District, which includes Carroll Gardens and Park Slope, still fares better than the rest of the city when it comes to class sizes, says the blog.
In Staten Island, 20 percent of all elementary school students were in classes of at least 30 students, in Coney Island and Brighton Beach, 19 percent were in large classes, and in Queen’s District 24, which includes Corona, Maspeth, Middle Village and other neighborhoods, 18 percent were in oversized classes, says School Book.