CLASS-SIZE WARFARE

SOME NEW YORK PARENTS TRY TO HIRE AN EXTRA FOURTH-GRADE TEACHER. IS THIS UNFAIR TO PUBLIC SCHOOLING?

The move seemed routine enough in a school system strapped for cash. In late September, New York City school officials laid off a fourth-grade teacher at Public School 41 in Greenwich Village, dispersing her students into the school's four other classes. That pushed the average fourth-grade class size from 26 to 32. It also pushed parents over the edge. Within days of hearing the news, a group of parents cobbled together $46,000 to cover the teacher's salary. When city schools chancellor Rudy Crew nixed the buyout, saying it would "adversely affect the opportunity for equity" among the city's schools, the parents...

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