from the Politico Morning Education Read for 3July2104 | http://politi.co/1xm12WO
PUTTING CLASS SIZE ON THE BALLOT: Educators in Washington state plan to submit more than 340,000 signatures today to qualify a class-size reduction initiative for the fall ballot.
The measure would cut class sizes across all grades over the next several years.
- By 2019, early elementary classes would have no more than 17 students and classes would be capped at 25 for fourth through 12th graders.
- Maximum sizes would be even smaller in low-income schools where more than half the students qualify for subsidized lunches.
- The initiative would also support the hiring of more school counselors, nurses and teacher’s aides.
Backers of Initiative 1351 say funding to cut class sizes should be available if the legislature abides by a state Supreme Court order to come up with billions more funding for public schools over the next few years. The legislature has struggled to meet that mandate — but the court has said it must appropriate more money to fulfill its “paramount duty,” spelled out in the state constitution, to provide an “ample” public education for all children. Teachers say an “ample” education includes class sizes small enough to allow for individual attention. More about the ballot initiative, which has strong union backing: http://bit.ly/1vu8g8h.