Save Our Schools NC is dedicated to ending the class size chaos
Listen to Renee Sekel break down the issue.
In a budget bill, the North Carolina General Assembly gave public schools a class size mandate for grades kindergarten through third. The caps are as follows Kindergarten 18 students, 1st grade 16 students, and 2nd – 3rd grade 17 students. With public pressure, the mandate was initially delayed and only partially rolled out in the school year 2017-2018. The full effect of the mandate will go into effect in 2018-2019.
It might seem strange to some to not want lower class sizes. Of course we want lower class sizes, but this bill was not wisely crafted. First the mandate is unfunded. There is no money to hire the extra teachers it takes to meet the mandate. Perhaps the most shocking consequence is that it takes away districts flexibility to fund its enhancement or specialist teachers. That puts P.E. Art, Music and Language Arts in danger in North Carolina public schools. We are seeing schools reassign students and put new caps on magnet schools. We are also seeing an alarming rise in student numbers in 4th and 5th grade as resources are shifted to K-3. Another negative consequence of this mandate is lack of space. Many schools simply do not have the room to add more K-3 classrooms. They are filled to capacity. Teacher shortages are a problem in rural parts of the state and some schools are having to move resources away from much needed early education pre-K programs.
Join the fight to end this mandate. Make the our legislators go back to drawing board and find a better way to lower class size. Our site will have simple actions you can take to help end this class size chaos.