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Hochul backs measures to reduce class size in city schools

By 08/25/2022 4:06 PMNo Comments

On Thursday, New York Governor Kathy Hochul revealed she’s eyeing changes to a bill capping class sizes in the city’s public schools before signing it into law in the coming days.

Hochul said she is “inclined to be supportive” of the measure but is still going over details of the bill, which Mayor Adams have panned as an unfunded mandate.

“I’m looking closely at it,” Hochul said.

“I’m inclined to be supportive. I just have to work out a few more details with the mayor,” Hochul added.

The bill, which the Democratic-led Legislature adopted in June, was passed as a component of a package of education-related legislation that extended mayoral power over city schools for just two years, despite Adams’s request for at least four.

Hochul signed a slightly modified version of the control bill the day before it expired.

In its current form, the class size bill would mandate the city to reduce the number of pupils in each classroom over five years, capping the number of students at 20 to 25, depending on the grade.

“Funding sources is one,” she said.

“Leave it to us; in the next couple of days, this will be resolved,” she added.

Adams has aggressively opposed the labor-backed measure, stating that the city would be compelled to reduce spending on education elsewhere if there were no new funds.

The mayor will only approve the class size limit if a chapter amendment is introduced to address funding, according to a spokesman for the mayor.

“While this administration strongly supports lower class sizes, unless there is guaranteed funding attached to those mandates, we will see cuts elsewhere in the system that would harm our most vulnerable students in our most needy communities,” the spokeswoman, Amaris Cockfield, said.

“Mayor Adams is grateful to partner with the governor and the legislators in Albany through this past session and looks forward to their continued work together,” Cockfield added.

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