State senators say class size mandate needs action by lawmakers

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State senators say class size mandate needs action by lawmakers

State senators representing Wake and Mecklenburg counties say there's unfinished business that should have been addressed by the Republican-led General Assembly.

Senator Jay Chaudhuri, Democrat from Wake told the press on Tuesday, "Every day that we have been called back to Raleigh, the focus has been on partisan attacks and burning bridges, rather than building consensus and addressing the very real problems facing North Carolina families."

Senator Chaudhuri says Republican leaders have not addressed problems linked to the state's unfunded class size mandate. "In Wake County, such a mandate means the school system must create space for the equivalent of 9500 students and 400 extra classrooms, or the equivalent of 14 elementary schools."

And he says now that the Wake County school bpard's voted to cap enrollment in eight elementary schools, many parents who move to communities hoping to attend schools they'd prefer don't have that option.

"Wake County has now closed 25 elementary schools to new transfer students, it has reduced the number of magnet students accepted in six more elementary schools, thereby compromising the education for our best and brightest. "

Senator Chaudhuri says adjustments that could have allowed some flexibility in the class size mandate bill were not allowed by leaders in the state senate. Now Senator Joyce Waddell's concerned about the message she must take home to parents and educators in Mecklenburg County.

"They wanted to know what we were going to be doing when it came to class sizes," said Senator Waddell. "Now I've got to go back and tell them that we didn't even take it up."

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