News in Brief: A State Capitals Roundup

Texas Groups Oppose Chief’s Class-Size Rule

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A court hearing has been scheduled for next week on whether the Texas Education Agency can make it easier for districts to exceed the state’s class-size limits of one teacher to 22 students in kindergarten through 4th grade.

The suit, filed in the Travis County District Court by the Texas Federation of Teachers and the Texas State Teachers Association, claims state schools Commissioner Shirley J. Neeley overstepped her authority.

The state education code, the unions argue in the lawsuit, requires a district to submit plans approved by its school board that state its objectives in seeking a waiver to the class-size law and explain why the district would face undue hardship without it.

An Oct. 5 letter from Ms. Neeley to districts said school boards could grant their superintendents blanket authority to request class-size waivers from her office, without board votes on each waiver request. ("Texas Loosens Requirement on Class-Size Waivers," Oct. 20, 2004.)

A TEA spokeswoman said the agency could not comment because it had not received a copy of the lawsuit.

Vol. 24, Issue 10, Page 27

Published in Print: November 3, 2004, as Texas Groups Oppose Chief’s Class-Size Rule

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