While we may count ourselves lucky that we have access to an amazing free and compulsory education, is it being compromised by having too many students in a classroom at a time? Overcrowding in our public schools is a real problem. Research shows that students in smaller class sizes perform much better than students in larger classes. While it seems the UFT has sited its goal to have an average 24 students per class in grades 9-12, it seems most classes in most high schools are capped at 30. This is still 20% over the UFT’s goal. Why does this occur? Because there is not enough room for public schools in NYC. Clearly the city government does not spend enough on public schools. Additionally, due to the creation of charter schools who exclude students and co-location of charter schools and public schools, there is now even less space for public schools than there were 10 years ago. So what can I do about having 40 students in my class? Honestly, there is not much I can do. My teachers and my administration are well aware of the problem, but it is sadly out of their hands too. The only thing we can do is lobby the city to spend more money on public schools and stop leasing city zoned school property to charter schools who exclude students.