clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Union's class size estimates show shifts in Queens crowding

Early class size estimates from the city’s teachers union indicate that while a new high school campus in Queens may have alleviated crowding in some schools, others are now feeling the pain.

The new Metropolitan Avenue campus, which is home to two small high schools and about 400 students, appears to have given nearby Forest Hills High School some breathing room (though not enough, according to some Queens officials). Forest Hills had 209 oversized classes this time last year. This year it has 103.

The numbers come from the city’s teachers union, which surveys teachers about overcrowded classes. The Department of Education has not yet released its official class size numbers.

Benjamin Cardozo High School, another chronically overcrowded school, has 214 oversized classes this year, an improvement over the 274 it had last year.

But for other Queens high schools, overcrowding has only intensified this year. One of the 19 schools the city hoped to begin closing last year, Jamaica High School has seen a sudden increase in oversized classes from none last year to 83 this year.

Another Queens school, the John Bowne High School in District 26, had no overcrowded classes this time last year. Now, union officials say it has 258 of these classes.

For an academic high school class to be considered crowded, it has to have more than 34 students.

Typically, the union files demands for arbitration in the early fall and, by the time the cases come up for a hearing, some are no longer problems. Last year, Department of Education officials said that of the 506 demands for arbitration that the UFT filed in the fall, 75 percent were either withdrawn or never scheduled.

Number of oversized classes in 2010 and 2009:

Q415 Cardozo 214/274

Q440 Forest Hills 103/209

Q470 Jamaica 83/0

Q425 John Bowne 258/0

Q450 LIC HS 211/175

Q566 Queens HS of Teaching 71/55

Q455 Bryant 140/249

The COVID-19 outbreak is changing our daily reality

Chalkbeat is a nonprofit newsroom dedicated to providing the information families and educators need, but this kind of work isn't possible without your help.

Sign up for the newsletter Chalkbeat New York

Sign up for our newsletter.