Class size at BISD expected to grow

Beaumont Independent School District teachers will soon be returning to classrooms with noticeably less elbow room.

In anticipation of the Reduction in Force list some teachers resigned or retired from the district, affecting class sizes for the upcoming school year.

Last Thursday -- interim superintendent Vern Butler began sending out letters to 82 employees ... Not under contract .. Letting them know they were being laid off

Before the RIF list, the BISD board decided to go to a 28:1 student teacher ratio in secondary schools, while elementary schools are expected to stay the same, per state law, at 22:1.

Beaumont Teachers Association Vice President Sebrina Dollar said those guidelines are only estimates and although it's the absence of teachers that will affect class size, eliminating roles like teacher's aids could also lead to a negative impact on classroom productivity.

"We're going to have to be on our A game and give it all we've got, which we've always done but it's going to take a lot more to get there this year," Dollar said.

The Texas Education Agency has excused over 1,200 elementary schools from the 22-student limit and Dollar said BISD may soon be applying for one of those waivers.

BISD parent of three, Kathy LeBlanc said she's worried about the challenge for teachers to introduce more rigorous testing curriculum with less one-on-one student teacher involvement.

"I have a son with a learning disability and it's hard for him to learn in a big classroom," LeBlanc said. "Some kids need you to slow down the pace, so I don't think we're going to get good test results with these big classrooms."


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