Fiscal Crisis Casualty: Class-Size Reduction
According to this story, Georgia is granting waivers to districts that don't have the money to hire extra teachers to meet its caps of 20 students in kindergarten, 21 in grades 1-3, and 28 in grades 4-8. This means that schools no longer have to hire additional educators if they exceed the caps by just a few students.
As I reported earlier this year, Florida, even before the economic crisis reached its current proportions, suspended the final stage of its mandatory class-size reduction program. California districts were also expected to forgo voluntary class-size subsidies.
I'm told most districts try to cut elsewhere before turning to instructional positions. But because teachers' salaries make up the largest expenditure in most districts' budgets, it looks like more teacher cuts and larger class sizes are on the horizon for now.