Proposed legislation would reduce number of students in the classroom to stop COVID-19 spread
Newly proposed legislation could reduce the number of kids inside the classroom in hopes of preventing high spread of COVID-19.
Council Member Mark Treyger is introducing a new bill to the City Council. The bill would make class sizes smaller, allowing a max of just 14 students in a 500-square-foot classroom and 21 students in a 750-square-foot room.
"Right now, we're facing a September opening where we have quite a few schools that are severely overcrowded and basically the answer we've gotten for months from the city is let the school figure it out. That's not acceptable,” said United Federation of Teachers President Michael Mulgrew.
Officials say smaller class sizes would make it easier for air from ventilation systems to move through classrooms.
They’re hoping to make this mandate permanent by updating the city’s administrative code.
A Department of Education spokesperson says right now classes are capped to ensure students get the attention and space they need. They say they’re working to hire more teachers and build new instructional space to support smaller class sizes.
If passed, the mandate for smaller classes would be phased in over the next three years.