State Law on K-4 Class-Size Caps Has Not Changed

State Law on K-4 Class-Size Caps Unchanged:  One of the great policy successes for teachers and parents allied in defense of public education in the 2011 legislature was the preservation of K-4 class-size caps, after a six-month battle.  The law remains intact, but some school administrators around the state seem to be unaware that they did not gain any new leeway to enlarge K-4 classes. Thus, staffers at the Texas Association of School Business Officials say they “continue to receive inquiries concerning the status of the 22-to-1 student-to-teacher ratio requirement in the Education Code for grades kindergarten through fourth.”

Hence TASBO on Thursday put out this “22-to-1 K-4 Flexibility Status Clarification”:

“This issue was discussed in numerous media articles during the 82nd Legislative Session through the end of the First Called Session. However, please be aware that that the 82nd Legislature DID NOT amend the 22-to-1 grades K-4 student-to-teacher ratio requirement. School officials may carefully consider Texas Education Agency waiver provisions in this area. The waiver request must be submitted to TEA (Commissioner) no later than October 1, 2011 or 30th day after the first school day the district exceeds the limit, along with the TEA waiver form and a copy of a current compliance plan that has been approved by your school district’s board of trustees.”

The TASBO clarification directs administrators to the following link to find TEA’s state waiver application form for class size: http://www.tea.state.tx.us/index2.aspx?id=6637&menu_id=932&menu_id2=788.

To review the most recent official statement of the commissioner’s policy on waivers and what districts must do to obtain them, click here:  http://ritter.tea.state.tx.us/taa/classsize20100907.html.