More schools, but fewer classrooms, have overcrowding problems: UFT

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amNY holding image

While the number of jam-packed classrooms has gone down, overcrowded special ed classes in regular city public schools have more than doubled, according to a new survey by the United Federation of Teachers that was immediately assailed by the Department of Education.

The number of overcrowded special ed classes swelled from 118 to 270, while the number of overcrowded classes dipped from 6,978 to 6,220 this year, according to the survey.

The UFT estimates that roughly 225,000 students -- about a quarter of all those in the system -- spend part or all of their first days in school in overcrowded classrooms.

The UFT data is based on school registers, not on head counts, and the numbers they issue annually "never end up being accurate once we report final class sizes," the DOE responded in a statement.

If UFT President Michael Mulgrew shares DOE concerns about overcrowding, "he should accept our many proposals to stop paying those in the Absent Teacher Reserve pool who are draining resources that could otherwise be used to put permanent, effective teachers in the classroom," the DOE statement continued.

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