State figures show a more than threefold increase in just one year in the number of elementary schools allowed to exceed class-size limits in Texas, one of the most visible signs of the big education funding cuts that the legislature passed to balance the budget, a newspaper reports.
Figures obtained by The Dallas Morning News show that state officials allowed cash-strapped public school districts to exceed the 22-student limit in 6,988 classrooms from kindergarten through 4th grade, up from 2,238 a year ago.
“We are clearly seeing the impact of the budget cuts this year,” said Debbie Ratcliffe, a spokeswoman for the Texas Education Agency, which approved the vast majority of class-size waivers sought. “School districts can save some money in the short term by increasing their class sizes, and that is what many have felt compelled to do.”
A version of this article appeared in the December 07, 2011 edition of Education Week as Class-Size Waivers Triple for Texas Districts