Watch Leonie Haimson at 1:22:49 ask Mayor de Blasio the following:
“As you know, smaller classes are parents #1 priority on the DOE’s own surveys. During your campaign you promised to reduce class size to much lower levels and if necessary raise funds to do so, and to expand the school capital plan to provide the space to make this possible.
Yet no funding has been allocated towards class size reduction, class sizes are larger than ever, and last year more the 350,000 students were in classes of 30 or more. School overcrowding has also worsened, and elementary schools capacty on average is a stunning 104% – with more than half of all students attending extremely overcrowded schools.
Your priorities of expanding preK and affordable housing, though terrific goals, will exacerbate school overcrowding, and yet the city cut back on the funds dedicated towards school construction in its ten year capital plan, and the current capital plan will create less than half the seats necessary to address enrollment growth and alleviate current conditions.
My question is this: are you still committed to reducing class size and school overcrowding, and if so, what resources and strategies will you use to accomplish this goal, and when will we see progress? And let me remind you, the city has an $8 billion surplus and the power of eminent domain, which means you can take over any property to build a school.
Finally, will you agree to form a Commission to improve the efficiency and accuracy of the school planning process?”