NC parents petition lawmakers to save kids from 'class size chaos'

WAKE COUNTY (WTVD) -- Hundreds of parents are mobilizing and lobbying lawmakers to repeal HB13 or amend it during the special session in January.

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The bill shrinks class sizes from kindergarten to third grade.

One mom said a child's well-round education is at stake, adding that she's certain electives will vanish as districts throughout the state are forced to move around resources to adhere to the new class size ceilings.

A petition is circulating online called #ClassSizeChaos.

"I want them to repeal the class size mandate," said mom Renee Sekel. "I'm done asking for additional funds. I want it repealed, and I want it done in January."

In response, Senate Majority Leader Harry Brown issued a statement to ABC11:

"While we admire and appreciate these parents advocating for their local schools, the law requires school systems to reduce their student to teacher ratios, not to build more classrooms. Many school districts have the class space to achieve lower student to teacher ratios through class size reductions, but all districts can achieve lower student to teacher ratios through team teaching, combination classes or other innovative and effective approaches.

As a reminder:
  • Since 2014, local school districts across the state have received roughly $222 million to lower student to teacher ratios - and every year, they are guaranteed about $70 million in recurring dollars for that purpose.

  • HB 13 required school districts to report specific information on class sizes and how they are spending the funds they are given for teachers. This information will give us a better idea of what is going on in our classrooms and will help determine if we need to make any modifications going forward.

  • The law required this information to be submitted in October and again in February. We need to review the data before determining any next steps.

Giving up now could mean failing to help students receive more personalized instruction and improve their academic performance. Everyone should be able to agree that a system where teachers can focus more of their attention on fewer students should lead to better outcomes in our schools."

The Wake County School District has quantified how much it'll cost to maintain the status quo.

A spokesperson said the district would have to shell out more than $24 million to hire 341 teachers to keep art, music, and physical education classes.

The WCPSS has done a compressive study of what the impact will be if the current legislation sticks.

Solutions to better utilize seats are to redistrict students or remove the grandfather clause.

The North Carolina PTA and Public Schools First NC are hosting a webinar to educate members about the mandate.

It starts at 7 p.m.; parents can register online.
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