Overcrowding in NYC schools

September 22, 2011 3:19:13 PM PDT
The teachers union is troubled over class sizes.

"What we were afraid was going to happen, because of all the budget cuts, our worst fears have now been confirmed," said Michael Mulgrew, Teachers Union President.

As of mid-September, according to the annual teachers' union survey, there were nearly 7,000 general education classes over the union's contract limit on class size. 256,000 students were found to be spending at least part of their school days in overcrowded classrooms.

Most of the problems were at high schools, where the union reports 4,687 oversized classes.

"Something has to stop and it is called, we have to stop cutting the budgets of the schools in New York City," adds Mulgrew.

The Department of Education says: "We are still finalizing our class size reports, but we do expect class sizes to rise modestly as a consequence of nearly $1.7 billion in state and federal budget cuts that have forced us to do more with less. But we believe that getting effective teachers into every classroom is the most important stepping stone to student success, and we will continue to work toward that goal."

Murray Bergtraum is one of the high schools said to have more than a hundred oversized classes, but that may have been corrected today.

The city says it expects class sizes to go down before the point when the union could file for arbitration.