Board of Education Meets on Class Size

School Desk

Legislation implementing the class size amendment passed by voters approached its first hurdle in the legislature.

Tuesday’s measure would put into law how districts comply with the will of the public.

New cost estimates now suggest the amendment is less costly than first thought.

Schools will have to reduce crowded classes in all grades by at least two students next year under legislation approved by the state Senate. Class size would be averaged by district for the first three years, by school the next two and finally by 2010 by individual classrooms. The bill sponsor says schools that don't meet class size limits will face penalties.

"Year round schools, double sessions, extended school year, or rezonings,” says Sen. Lee Constantine.

The governor has proposed repealing the class size amendment. The Senate action suggests it isn't interested in repeal.

In his budget the governor put the cost for smaller schools at $628 million, but two new estimates are in the first from the Senate president.

"We had a plan that originally somewhere between $400 and $00 dollars I'm told that

House leaders now say they can implement class size for $316 million, far less than the billions talked about in the fall campaign.