Cash-strapped districts increase class sizes - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

Cash-strapped districts increase class sizes

LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) -

Recent budget cuts have made it harder for Texas schools to keep class sizes below the required maximum, but a new waiver option from the Texas Education Agency may make things easier.

Previously, schools could request an exemption based on a lack of facilities or teachers, or because of unanticipated growth. Now they've added a new reason - financial hardship.

Texas law says there should be no more than 22 students per class in elementary schools, but school districts suffering from budget cuts should now find it easier to get a waiver.

Struggling to close a budget shortfall, Texas lawmakers have approved massive funding cuts that will directly affect local student/teacher ratios.

"We've definitely been affected by a $13 million cut to our state revenue over the next 2 years; however, that is not going to be remedied by increasing class sizes over the 22 to 1 ratio," LISD Director of Communications and Community Relations Nancy Sharp said.

Sharp says the number of waivers needed by LISD is down this year.

"Last year we had 40 classes in the district where we needed to apply for a waiver. This year we are down to 21," Sharp said.

Lubbock Cooper ISD is already at risk of going over the 1 to 22 ratio, strictly due to enrollment growth.

"We're going to level some off, but we'll probably have some classes at 23 and probably have to request waivers for those," LCISD Superintendent Pat Henderson said.

"Nothing happens at 23," he said. "The educational quality does not go down just because you add that 23rd student."

Henderson says it's better to have more students in a classroom than to put students in a class with an unqualified teacher.

"I would rather get a waiver and know that those kids are in the classroom with a quality teacher then go out and find a body," Henderson said.

Schools have until Oct. 3 to apply for the waivers.

Copyright 2011 KCBD NewsChannel 11

  • Local News on KCBD.comNewsMore>>

  • Country music singer Mel Tillis dies at 85

    Country music singer Mel Tillis dies at 85

    Sunday, November 19 2017 12:04 PM EST2017-11-19 17:04:50 GMT

    Mel Tillis gained fame in the 1970s with a string of successful hits. He had six No. 1 singles and more than 30 top 10 hits and was named the Country Music Association's entertainer of the year in 1976.

    Mel Tillis gained fame in the 1970s with a string of successful hits. He had six No. 1 singles and more than 30 top 10 hits and was named the Country Music Association's entertainer of the year in 1976.

  • Moore critic: Alabama Senate race a battle for nation's soul

    Moore critic: Alabama Senate race a battle for nation's soul

    Friday, November 17 2017 11:39 PM EST2017-11-18 04:39:35 GMT
    Sunday, November 19 2017 11:33 AM EST2017-11-19 16:33:44 GMT

    GOP Senate candidate Roy Moore's wife is standing by her embattled man, and she has gathered other Alabama women to his cause _ but not everyone is sticking with him.

    GOP Senate candidate Roy Moore's wife is standing by her embattled man, and she has gathered other Alabama women to his cause _ but not everyone is sticking with him.

  • Deduction targeted by GOP used by tax filers in most states

    Deduction targeted by GOP used by tax filers in most states

    Saturday, November 18 2017 9:53 AM EST2017-11-18 14:53:09 GMT
    Sunday, November 19 2017 9:43 AM EST2017-11-19 14:43:02 GMT

    Residents of high-tax states would be affected most by the GOP's plan to eliminate or reduce the deduction for state and local taxes, but the change also could affect millions of other filers, including some in...

    Residents of high-tax states would be affected most by the GOP's plan to eliminate or reduce the deduction for state and local taxes, but the change also could affect millions of other filers, including some in Republican-led states.

Powered by Frankly