Nolan Spearheads Groundbreaking New York City Class-Size Reduction Bill Introduced in Assembly

Ensures effective spending of state aid following landmark CFE funding ruling
March 4, 2007

Assemblywoman (D-Queens) is co-sponsoring the “Class-Size Reduction Act,” a bill requiring New York City to spend at least 25 percent of the additional state education aid allocated to the city on lowering class size.

As Chair of the Assembly Committee on Education, Assemblywoman Nolan has been a guiding force behind strategies to lower class size. “Why should a 9th grade math class in New York City have 32 students when the rest of the state has only 20,” asked Assemblywoman Nolan?

“Limiting class-size in New York City public schools must be a priority,” Assemblywoman Nolan said. “When you look at the average class size in New York City in comparison to the rest of the state there is an overwhelming disparity. We’ve got to make sure public school children get the individual attention they deserve.”

The measure is supported by the United Federation of Teachers, the New York City NAACP, the Hispanic Federation, school advocacy group Class Size Matters and a host of other community advocates and educational practitioners who all champion this legislation.

“I know how important it is to have smaller, more manageable class-sizes,” Assemblywoman Nolan said. “Ask any teacher what they need to better educate their students and they’ll tell you smaller class sizes. We can’t keep increasing the accountability and raising the standards for principals, teachers and our children without first giving them all the tools they need to succeed.”

The measure would ensure that additional state aid coming to the city to comply with the Campaign for Fiscal Equity ruling is spent in the most effective way – requiring the average class size in every K-12 grade in New York City to be no more than 105 percent of the average class size for that grade outside the city within four years.

“When there are too many children in a classroom, no matter how experienced and dedicated the teacher, it’s inevitable that some children will slip through the cracks,” Assemblywoman Nolan said. “This is something that we can prevent. All the research indicates that smaller classes improve student performance.

“I look forward to working with Governor Spitzer in the coming weeks to pass an on-time budget that makes a solid investment in our children’s education,” Assemblywoman Nolan said. “The executive budget proposes $1.4 billion more for our schools this year – and a $7 billion increase over the next four years. This is the largest executive allocation that New York has ever seen and I will work to ensure that it goes a long way to improve our classrooms and our children’s quality of education.”