The North Carolina General Assembly is considering changes to a class size reduction bill.
Citing data that suggests smaller classes increase student performance, House Bill 13 would require classes of fewer than 20 students in kindergarten through third grade by the beginning of the 2018-19 school year. The bill does not allocate additional funding for the class size reductions but gives local districts flexibility to meet the requirements.
Governor Roy Cooper signed a reprieve in April 2017 that delayed the reductions for one year but district administrators, teachers, parents and advocacy groups have protested the bill and called for additional funding. To meet the new requirements, districts would have to use measures like spending local funds to hire additional teachers and build additional classrooms, increase class sizes in middle and high school, reallocate teaching positions to K-3 and/or eliminate art, PE, music and other “specials” and replace them with traditional classroom teachers. Wake County, NC’s largest school district, would need over 400 additional classroom teachers for 2018-19.
According to the Raleigh News & Observer, Rep. Craig Horn, House education committee co-chairman, said lawmakers are developing a solution and a plan will be ready by April’s legislative session.
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