Financial hardship to increase Central Texas class sizes - KXXV-TV News Channel 25 - Central Texas News and Weather for Waco, Temple, Killeen |

Financial hardship to increase Central Texas class sizes

By Stephanie Jacksis

CENTRAL TEXAS - Financially challenged school districts could get exempt from a Texas law that caps elementary class sizes at 22 students.

The Texas Education Agency's new provision will allow districts to sign waivers, because of financial hardship.  Districts can apply for the hardship waivers through Oct. 3.

Some parents of elementary students said less attention would be given to their child if classrooms were to increase.

"This is a crucial development stage," Tonya Parker said. "Especially for elementary kids.  They need that one-on-one time with their instructors and teachers."

Waco ISD spokeswoman Mary Senter said at least 56 classrooms throughout the district, elementary grades Kindergarten - 4th grade, will be applying for the waiver.  Of the 19 elementary schools in the district, 15 exceed the 22:1 student/teacher ratio. 

"In most cases, the excess is only by one student," Senter said.

However, Killeen ISD officials say they will not be applying.

Parker's son is in kindergarten at Iduma Elementary in Killeen.  She said the class sizes are perfect the way they are now, and adding more children would only add chaos.

"Teachers have enough to do with paperwork, keeping up with the kids, and dress codes," Caroline Sowers said. "They don't need anymore kids in the class."

"The more children they have in the class," parent Margaret Sorrels-Miles said, "They gotta have more teachers, too.  Cause one can't do it by themselves.  It's kind of a struggle."

The class size requirement has been a law since 1984.

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