Senate Leader Phil Berger and House Speaker Tim Moore held a joint press conference last week to announce a compromise on the new state requirement to reduce class sizes in kindergarten through third grade later this year. The new plan would:
- Phase in implementation of class size reductions over the next four years, with no change in the 2018-19 school year
- Increase PreK slots by adding $82 million in 2019-20 and $91 million in 2020-2021.
- Set aside funding for special subject area teachers, like art, music and PE, and prohibit transfer of those funds
Changes were made to respond to unintended consequences of the original plan. In order to have adequate physical space and teachers in K-3 classrooms, some schools and districts warned that they would have to:
- Eliminate or reduce Pre-K classes
- Eliminate or reduce art, music and PE classes
- Increase class sizes in 4th and 5th grades
The new funding for NC PreK, the four-year phase-in and the additional funding for special subject teachers is intended to alleviate some of that pressure.
Read the article in the News & Observer.