State Education Department

Administration and Oversight of the Early Grade Class Size Reduction Program

The Early Grade Class Size Reduction Program was created in 1997 to reduce the size of classes in the first three grades and kindergarten in certain school districts to an average of 20 students per class. The reductions were to be achieved primarily by adding new classrooms and teachers. Most Program funds are allocated to the Stateís five largest school districts: the cities of New York City, Buffalo, Rochester, Syracuse and Yonkers. We examined whether the Programís goals were achieved in these five districts during the first three years of the Program. We found that New York City, Buffalo and Rochester generally created far fewer new classes than expected in all three years, while Syracuse and Yonkers created more new classes than expected in the third year of the Program. In New York City, Buffalo and Rochester, a number of high priority schools did not receive additional teachers or classrooms. We found that the Department did not adequately monitor whether the five districts complied with Program requirements, and had yet to submit to the Legislature an annual report on the status of the Program, even though the annual report is required by law.

For a complete copy of Report 2002-S-33 click here.
For a copy of the 90-day response click here.