[ProgressiveEd] Fwd: Class Size Matters responds to Pataki's proposed budget

[email protected] [email protected]
Mon, 24 Feb 2003 11:01:08 -0500

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Subject: Class Size Matters responds to Pataki's proposed budget
Date Sent: Wednesday, February 19, 2003 1:32 PM
From: Leonie Haimson <[email protected]>
To: [email protected]
CC: Leonie Haimson <[email protected]>
Dear Camilla -- It was great meeting you last night.  Could you forward
me all your contact info, including full name and phone no?
Right now, my organization is involved in the battle to save the state
funding for early grade class size reduction, as well as trying to make
sure that the Chancellor includes smaller classes as an integral part of
his plan to improve the public schools.  We have posted a petition asking
Klein to do so at http://www.ipetitions.com/campaigns/classsize/, and it
has almost 800 signatures so far.  I intend to announce this petition to
your listserv.  I also have a summary of the impressive research showing
that class size leads to gains in student achievement in the upper as
well as the lower grades that I can send you if you're interested.
I will forward some other recent messages to my members about the
Governor's proposed budget that would decimate our schools, including one
below.  I look forward to working w/ you and your group in the future!
Leonie Haimson
Class Size Matters
124 Waverly Pl.
New York, NY 10011
(office) 212-674-7320
(home) 212-254-1491
(cell) 917-435-9329
[email protected]
----- Original Message ----- 
From: Leonie Haimson 
To: Leonie Haimson 
Sent: Wednesday, January 29, 2003 5:52 PM
Subject: Class Size Matters responds to Pataki's proposed budget:
Class Size Matters responds to Pataki's proposed budget:
While we're asking our students and our schools to achieve more every
year, it's simply unfair to provide them with less.  The Governor's
proposal to cut education aid by $1.24 billion and eliminate all funds
for reduced class size will mean even more overcrowded classrooms in a
state and a city where we already have some of the largest classes in the
nation.  During the past eight years, we've fallen behind the national
average in class size, and the Governor's budget will just make this
critical situation even worse. 
Ever since the Governor pledged to reduce class size in 1997, he has left
a trail of broken promises.  In this budget, the only area that the he
has kept sacrosanct from cuts is security and prisons. New York State
spends more than $30,512 per prisoner, while only $4,207 in state funds
goes to support each public school student.  Maybe we should rename our
public schools prisons, so the Governor would provide them with the
resources they need to improve.
If teachers were renamed wardens, maybe then the Governor would offer
funds to hire more of them to reduce class size. In our state prisons,
there are 567 staff members per 1,000 inmates.  Compare this to the
student/teacher ratio in NY State of 14.6 to one.
Rather than making our children pay the consequences, we should ask those
who can afford it to contribute more.  Since New York's personal income
tax rate is a flat 6.85% for all individuals who make more than $20,000,
by raising rates on incomes over $100,000 we could protect our children's
education while restoring some progressivity to our tax system.
Leonie Haimson
Class Size Matters
[email protected]
Class Size Matters is a parent advocacy group, concerned with obtaining
smaller classes for the New York City public schools.
(Sources: figures on spending per prisoner and per student, FY 2001-2,
Fiscal Policy Institute;
[NY State average class size, National Center for Education Statistics,
School and Staffing Survey, 1999-2000, Table 1.16 www.nces.ed.gov/
pubs2002/2002313_1.pdf  for self-contained elementary school classrooms,
showing that average class size in NY state elementary schools was larger
than the national average, and tied for 10th largest among 50 states. 
This figure had fallen behind substantially over the past six years
compared to the national average.  See NCES, SASS, 1993-1994: http://
nces.ed.gov/pubs/ce/c9739d02.html, showing NY's elementary school class
size was smaller than the national average, and ranking 20th largest
among 50 states. ) 
NYC average class sizes the largest in the state: http://
NY -The State of Learning (Chapter 655 Report), June 2002: In NYC,
Kindergarten classes average two more per class than in state as a whole
(21.7 per class vs. 19.6); elementary classes (grades 1 through 6)
average three more students (24.8 per class vs. 22 per class); and
secondary classes average six more students (28.2-29.6 vs. 22.7-23.8) 
NY State staff/prisoner ratio: National Center for Policy Analysis http:/
NY State teacher/student ratio: NCES, SASS, 1999-2000.)
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