2018-02-10 / Editorial

Legislature grants class size reprieve

School leaders and county commissioners across the state – including here in Person County – can breathe a little easier with the General Assembly’s proposal Thursday not to enforce K-3 class size restrictions beginning next year.

Had the legislature not considered that move, school systems, for the second year in a row, would have found themselves in a nasty personnel limbo, uncertain of how to pay for current teachers and come up with the money and the space to provide the additional classrooms they would need to meet the smaller class size rules.

Last year, Person County found itself in that position as the General Assembly waited well into the year before settling classroom issues.

In response, Person County school leaders had to hold off signing some teachers to new one-year contracts.

That difficult situation caused teachers and their families plenty of consternation and, in some cases, we know some teachers left for other opportunities in order to have the job security we all yearn for.

It is important to note, however, that the legislature did not erase the class size mandate. They simply want to put it off for one year and phase it in over time.

It might be wise for local leaders to start planning for those changes now.

“Some men only take from that which is provided for them in life; others repay in part by putting something back into their communities by service and good deeds.”

– Jerry Clayton, Publisher, 1970-2000 on The Courier-Times’ mission of community service.

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