Teachers union celebrates declining public school enrollment in NYC as 'golden opportunity'

NYC public schools have seen a meteoric drop in attendance and enrollment, that will lead to schools merging, and soon class sizes will be enormous.

Joshua Young North Carolina

The United Federation of Teachers (UFT) tweeted Thursday that it's a positive development that class enrollment in NYC is down because it provides a "golden opportunity" to teach UFT approved curriculum to smaller class sizes. However, lower enrollment in NYC schools will likely, and soon, lead to larger class sizes as schools will close and merge because of the drop in students.

"Declining student enrollment actually gives @NYCSchools a 'golden opportunity' to tackle large class sizes, says @LiuNewYork at @CityAndStateNY panel. 'It’s much easier to phase in a plan when class sizes are down. Let’s keep them down and build capacity as students return,'" tweeted the UFT from their official account.

According to Chalkbeat New York, student enrollment has dropped 9.5 percent since the start of the Covid pandemic. Roughly 30,000 fewer students are expected to enroll in 2022 compared to 2022. These declines have immediate impacts on school budgeting and funding, which likely lead to closures and mergers.

"Recent budget cuts due to declining enrollment will likely result in higher class sizes," reports Chalkbeat.

Enrollment decline is not consistent across all grade levels. The largest decrease in enrollment started with pre-K for 4-year-olds, followed by second, kindergarten, third, and first grades and Drops in high school kids were minimal.

On top of enrollment being down, returning students and overall attendance has shrunk as there have been marked decreases in the third grade student population, followed by sixth, first, and fifth grades.

Students in the younger grades have exited the New York City public school system in droves and evidence shows that parents are both taking their kids out of NYC public schools as well as not enrolling them altogether. NYC leads a nationwide trend of students leaving public schools. Since the pandemic enrollment has dropped nationall by 1.27 million children or roughly 6 percent fewer students.

Researchers at Stanford University found that the drop is connected to public schools not offering in-person learning. A Professor in Stanford’s Graduate School of Education, Thomas Dee, said "Parents demonstrated they didn’t want kids at that age sitting in front of a computer."

In the fall of 2020 NYC began a hybrid model of combined in-person school and remote learning. The United Federation of Teachers announced that they were considering a walk out in light of their "health concerns" with regard to being in classrooms with students. With their president, Randi Weingarten, leading the charge the union successfully delayed a full return to in-person education for months.

As The Post Millennial reported in January of 2021 the United Federation of Teachers continued to lead the charge for remote learning and made impossible demands on what needed to happen before schools could fully reopen, including massive building retrofits and HVAC system overhauls.

Weingarten and the UFT said in January of 2022 that a minor surge in Covid cases would require a return to remote learning. At the same time, Weingarten was saying there wasn't enough scientific evidence to allow children to attend school unmasked, despite uncontested evidence that children are mostly unaffected by Covid and minor vectors of transmission.

As the reporting from Chalkboard and data from the city's Independent Budget Office show, parents decided to leave the school system altogether when faced with the continued push by Weingarten and the UTF for remote education.

On the same day as the class size tweet, Weingarten tweeted, "we need to create more social & emotional learning and wrap services around schools, we need to focus on reading, we need to help kids get their mojo back."

As The Post Millennial has reported, "social & emotional learning" is a euphemism for focusing childhood education on philosophies such as Critical Race Theory and radical gender ideology, both of which Weingarten supports.

Weingarten has also called Florida's parental rights bill a cause for why wars start and has celebrated the targeting of parents by the FBI.


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