A study by the United Federation of Teachers has found that nearly a quarter of the city’s school system spent part or all of their first few weeks of school in overcrowded classes. And one of Bayside’s high schools ranks among the worst in the city for oversize classrooms.
According to the UFT’s survey, a total 230,000 students spent much of their time in overcrowded classrooms during the first few weeks of the current school year.
And Bayside’s Benjamin N. Cardozo High School, located at 57-00 223rd St., was among the most crowded with a total 385 oversized classes.
Jamaica’s Hillcrest High School was the city’s most jam-packed, with a total 400 crowded classes.
Other crowded schools include the Bronx’s Truman High School, Brooklyn’s James Madison High School, Manhattan’s Graphics High School and Staten Island’s Curtis High School.
Jackson Heights’ I.S. 145 was among the most overcrowded middle and elementary schools.
“Twelve years of Michael Bloomberg and hundreds of thousands of students start the school year in oversize classes, while many of them will stay in oversize classes for weeks or months,” UFT President Michael Mulgrew said. “It is time to take this issue seriously. All our students, especially our youngest children, desperately need smaller class sizes.”
In a statement, the DOE blasted the UFT's report.
"Each year, the UFT stages this event, using the wrong numbers and sweeping, erroneous conclusions," the statement read. "Our formula - new construction coupled with co-locations - has worked. In the last three years, as we've added state-of-the-art new buildings, we've added over 13,000 seats in Queens alone. We have also opened new schools in under-utilized space to create more options for students. Over 126,000 new school seats have been added across the City over the last decade. It's unclear why the UFT tries to either ignore or distort our progress."
The city’s total number of overcrowded classrooms was 6,313, which was up from 6,133 in 2012, according to the UFT’s study.
More than 1,000 of the oversize classes were found in Queens high schools.
The UFT’s numbers were based on school registers for the start of the third week of the current school year.
“We need to stop playing games with our kids’ future and start getting serious about overcrowding in our city’s classrooms, a chronic issue that the Department of Education has ignored for too long at the expense of hundreds of thousands of city school children,” said Scott Stringer, Manhattan borough president and city comptroller candidate.