Class Size

Text says, "Know Your Rights, Class Size."

Class size limits and requirements vary depending on which grade you teach.

Class Size Limits By Grade Level

Certain grades have their own exceptions and limitations on sizes and ratios:

  • Pre-K: With the passage of Senate Bill 2081 in the 87th Legislature, pre-K classrooms are capped to 22 students. Previously, pre-K was excluded from the class size limits of Kindergarten – fourth grade.
  • Kindergarten – Fourth Grade: These lower grades cannot have more than 22 students in one class, except within the final 12 weeks of a school year. If your district has a significant migrant population, the class size can exceed 22 students at a different 12-week period chosen by the district.
  • Fifth – 12th Grade: Teachers must average at or under 20 students per class across the district, but there is no defined cap for a single secondary classroom. The 22:1 ratio is only required for Kindergarten through fourth grade.

Exceptions to Class Size Limits

Electives

Class size limits do not apply to fine arts classes. For physical education classes, if the district student-to-teacher ratio is more than 45 to 1, the school district must clarify how it plans to maintain safety.

Districts of Innovation

One of the exemptions popular among districts designated a District of Innovation by the Texas Education Agency is class size ratios.

Class Size Waivers

Districts can apply for waivers from TEA to increase class sizes. A district seeking an exemption must notify the commissioner of education and apply no later than 1) Oct. 1 or 2) the 30th day after the first school day that the district exceeds the class size limit.

If the exemption is granted, the district must provide written notice to parents of all affected students. For more information, see TEA’s website.

Legal Information

Questions?

If you have questions or concerns, please contact your local union. If you’re a member of the Associate Membership Program, please contact the AMP service department.

Have a question about your rights? Contact a union expert about policies by downloading the Ask Texas AFT app for free.