Georgia Class Sizes

Georgia classrooms will have to forego smaller class sizes again next school year. Budget deficits have forced postponement of legislation that reduces the number of students per classroom.

Parents and guardians of students at Jerger Elementary School say smaller class sizes put children at the head of the class, but Georgia classrooms will remain at current levels until next year.

Lawmakers say smaller class sizes are out of their reach because state and local budget deficits make the reductions hard to afford.

"We would have had two less students in kindergarten for the 04/05 year and would have had two less in grades one through three," says Faye King.

Faye King, Jerger Elementary's principal, says even though legislation didn't pass, local schools are still in good shape because of gradual reductions since the class size movement began in 1999.

Nonetheless, educators hope next year's budget does work in their favor.

Chrissy Faulk, a kindergarten teacher at Jerger, says, "I've taught where there were 28 in a classroom. I just see the world of difference it makes with 20 children. You can just give them so much more time with smaller class settings."

"We are just grateful for the last four or five years of reductions we've had and looking forward for the further reduction, and with the accountability with test scores it's going to help a lot," adds Faye.

The smaller class issue is just one part of Gov. Perdue's total education package. Other bills in the package have been passed, including one giving teachers new discipline tools.