Board of Education proposes corrections to class-size legislation

The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Board of Education has joined other public school districts across the state in seeking adjustments to North Carolina state legislation lowering class sizes in grades K-3. The Board of Education issued a legislative alert on Jan. 11 that offered three corrective proposals to the North Carolina General Assembly.

 Legislative Alert January 11, 2018

CMS brings to your attention the following suggested options for consideration by the North Carolina General Assembly regarding the K - 3 Class Size issue. CMS would request the following "fixes" in order of tiered importance:

1. Reversion back to old system. CMS requests that the NCGA reinstate the ability of LEAs to have their average class size ratio be no more than three (3) above the allotment ratio amount and the maximum class size be no more than six (6) above the allotment ratio amount. Specifically, CMS requests the following class size scenarios:

 Chart for BOE release.jpg

2. Should Option 1 above not be agreeable to the NCGA, CMS would request a Tier 2 mitigating option of a full delay in implementation from the currently enacted changes for a period of no less than four (4) years. During the delayed period, CMS would ask the following to occur:

a. Creation of a task force to determine the optimal class size to ensure 3rd grade literacy achievement. To ensure that the impacts of potential changes are properly considered (e.g., academics and the capital improvements necessary for LEAs to comply with the space requirements), the task force should include school board members, principals, superintendents, teachers, and county commissioners.

b. Completion of the NCGA Joint Legislative Education Finance Reform Committee.

3. Should Option 2 above not be agreeable to the NCGA, CMS would request the following Tier 3 mitigating options:

a. Elimination of average class size as a metric, along with a permanent waiver for all enhancement classes. In this scenario, LEAs would be provided an allotment amount and a maximum class size requirement, but would not be subject to an average class size calculation. Our request would be that maximum class size be set at four (4) above the class size allotment ratio.

b. Lock in class size averages on the 20th day of the school year, along with a permanent waiver for all enhancement classes. In this scenario, LEAs would not have to create an additional classroom to comply with the average class size requirement should additional students enroll into any school after the 20th day attendance counts.

c. A phase-in of the currently enacted changes, along with a permanent waiver for all enhancement classes. Our specific request would be that the enacted changes would go into effect as follows:

i. Kindergarten: 2018 – 2019 school year

ii. 1st Grade: 2020 – 2021 school year

iii. 2nd Grade: 2022 – 2023 school year

iv. 3rd Grade: 2024 – 2025 school year