Our elementary schools need your help!
Last year the NC legislature passed an unfunded mandate reducing class sizes in grades K-3. While everyone agrees smaller classes are great, what are the consequences of smaller classes without providing money for them?
- Enforcement of this mandate for the 2017-2018 school year will have dramatic effects on school budgets—particularly in the areas of Art, Music, and PE instruction. Specifically, schools would likely be forced to lay off current specials teachers in order to hire more classroom teachers, and specials would be taught by homeroom teachers.
In January, HB-13 was filed in response to concerns over this new enforcement mandate. The bill relaxes previously established classroom size limits to more realistic numbers. Below is a breakdown of what is proposed by the bill compared to previously accepted levels, and the current 2017-2018 caps.
Grade Level Previous Class Sizes 2017-18 Requirements HB-13 Proposal
Kindergarten 21/24 18/21 21/24
1st Grade 21/24 16/19 19/22
2nd Grade 21/24 17/20 20/23
3rd Grade 21/24 17/20 20/23
HB-13 has been through several readings in the House and Senate. On February 16th it passed the House, and on the 20th it was referred to the Committee on Rules and Operations of the Senate. We do not yet know when it will be voted upon by the Senate.
It is imperative that our Representatives hear from parents on this issue--before the vote! In 5 minutes you can scribble out a quick note to your Representative. It needn’t be long, or perfect, just a personal note (card, email or phone call). Voice your support for HB-13, and let your representative know what an important role specials play within our children’s heavily structured school days.
Can you do one thing to help?
Call NC Senate Education Committee Chair Chad Barefoot’s office at (919) 715-3036 and ask him to bring HB13 to a vote.
If you have more time, here are some more resources...
- Ask other NC residents to call their state senator.