I have been getting comments and emails about larger class sizes this year, including an Atlanta parent whose middle school students had 43 students in her French class in a portable classroom.
(The parent wanted to know if it was legal to shoehorn that many adolescents, some of whom had to sit on the floor, in a portable classroom, and I am still waiting to hear about that. I am assuming that the French class has fallen in size by this point.)
DeKalb school board member Nancy Jester has also been getting complaints from her constituents about rising class sizes and sent out this note to some of them:
I’ve received a number of emails about the class size limits for this school year.
I received a terrific question about my thoughts on our class size limits. Specifically, I was asked to reconcile why I voted against both the class size increases and a millage rate increase. The question assumes that in order to keep class size at last year’s limits, one would need to increase the millage rate.
I disagree. According to data submitted to the Georgia Department of Education by the school districts, Henry County, Cherokee County, Cobb County, Decatur City, Forsyth County, Clayton County, Marietta City and Fulton County, all spend less per student on general administration than DeKalb and have lower millage rates. (Here is her documentation.)
Interesting to note from the DOE data that Jester posted that APS and DeKalb outspend other districts on administration costs. DeKalb spends $618 per pupil; Atlanta spends $681. In comparison, Fulton spends $570 and Gwinnett spends $602. It would seem that DeKalb and Fulton would align in their admin costs, given their size similarity.)
What are you seeing in your districts in terms of class size?
–From Maureen Downey, for the AJC Get Schooled blog