New York City Department of Education
Administration 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 certain school districts in the first three grades and kindergarten to an average of 20 students per class. The reductions were to be achieved primarily by adding new classrooms and teachers. The New York City Department of Education, which has received more than $88 million annually in program funding, was expected to add a total of 1,586 classes in the first three grades and kindergarten. We examined whether this goal had been met.
We found that the closest the Department had come to meeting the goal was in the 2000-01 school year, when it added a total of 896 early grade classes. Since that time, the number of early grade classes had decreased, and at the time of our audit in the 2004-05 school year, a net gain of only 20 additional early grade classes had been realized. While it was difficult to add classes at some schools because of a lack of space, new classes could have been added at many other schools where such classes were needed. We recommend that certain actions be taken to increase the number of early grade classes in New York City schools.
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