Excerpted from today's Laredo Morning Times
More than half of LISD classrooms in grades kindergarten through fourth may exceed class-size limits if the board of trustees approves a district recommendation later this month.
Laredo Independent School District trustees and staff met Tuesday morning in a curriculum and instruction committee meeting in which administration suggested a teacher-student ratio of 25:1 in grades kindergarten through first and 26:1 in second grade through fourth.
That would require the district to apply for a waiver from the Texas Education Agency, which regulates public primary and secondary education.
The state-mandated class-size limit in grades kindergarten through fourth is 22:1.
Last year, 46 percent of the district’s classrooms in those grades exceeded the state cap.
The state has increasingly granted school districts class size waivers in light of $5.4 billion in cuts made to public education in the 2011 Legislature.
Meeting state standards for classroom size would necessitate hiring additional teachers, which the district says would be too costly.
“Oftentimes, when you go to that 23rd student, that triggers an additional (staff member),” said Linda Theret, LISD assistant superintendent for curriculum and instruction.
Bringing all classrooms grades kindergarten through four to a 22:1 ratio, it would mean adding seven teachers, said David Garza, LISD human resources executive director.
It would also require administration to transfer students to other campuses so as to achieve a balance in the teacher-student ratio.
LISD hopes to avoid doing that.
With two board members present, including Jesus Martinez and Hector “Tito” Garcia, board opinion was not apparent during the meeting, but Garcia said he is on board with the recommendation.“I personally don’t have a problem with 25:1,” he said.
However, A. Marcus Nelson, LISD superintendent, said he has heard “different concerns” on class sizes in visits with other board members.
The exemption would apply to 19 of the district’s 20 elementary school, the exception being D.D. Hachar.
The highest student-teacher ratio, in the district’s recommendation, is in kindergarten at Gallego Elementary, with a 27.5:1 ratio.
LaredoTejas editor's note:
Mr. Garcia, of course you don't have a problem with that. You don't have to teach 25 4-5 year olds in one room and you probably don't live in the district so chances are you don't have any kids releated to you at these schools either!