The Atlanta school board couldn’t agree Monday on whether to reduce class sizes and canceled a scheduled vote on a budget that’s still $61 million short of being balanced just 10 days before they must give it initial approval.
Atlanta Board of Education Chairman Reuben McDaniel proposed keeping class sizes at current levels, which in some cases are larger than Georgia guidelines. But board members Nancy Meister and Cecily Harsch-Kinnane said the school district should explore spending money to shrink classes, especially in schools where they’re especially oversized.
Superintendent Erroll Davis told the board it wasn’t practical to spend some $20 million to get class sizes in line with state standards. State law says that class sizes shouldn’t exceed 32 students in public high schools (fewer in lower grade levels), but the state Board of Education has waived those requirements over the last few years as school districts struggled with financial difficulties.
“I think the max (class size limit) is there for a reason. I would like to challenge the administration about how we could do that next year,” Meister said. “How can you get us there? Is there a way?”