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: no mandatory teacher-to-student ratio
- 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
Pre-K is not considered a classroom situation in the same way as Kindergarten. Regulations for pre-K are overseen by the Texas Education Agency, which has recommended (but not required) pre-K classes retain the same 22:1 ratio as Kindergarten – fourth grade.
Some Pre-K programs opt for Department of Family and Protective Services child-care licenses, in which case they must remain under the maximum size and student-to-teacher ratios in those guidelines.
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.
- Texas Education Code Sec. 25.112 (Class Size)
- Texas Education Code Sec. 25.113 (Notice of Class Size)
- Texas Administrative Code Sec. 746 (Minimum Standards for Child-Care Centers)
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