06/02/2014 – Class Size Flexibility

The GaBOE granted an exemption of all statutory and regulatory class size maximums for the 2014-2015 school year. Local school districts will be required to submit a local board resolution to the Georgia Department of Education (GaDOE) before class size maximums may exceed those indicated in State Board Rule 160-5-1-.08. Additionally, flexibility is needed regarding fluctuations in enrollment that surface close to the FTE (Full-Time Equivalent) Count Dates. The addition of a 2-student buffer on the 2014-2015 class size maximum is necessary to ensure that full funding is captured for all classes.

Presented by: Dr. Kaveous K. Preston, Director, Allotments Scheduling & Budgets, Office of Federal Programs

Dr. Kaveous K. Preston
The district has worked tirelessly to decrease class size.  The current class size for the 2013-2014 school year vs 2014-2015 projections for class size average per grade level are as follows.  In Kindergarten, we are currently at 23 and projected to go to 21.  1st through 3rd grades at 24 and projected to stay at 24.  4th and 5th grades from 27 to 26. 6th – 8th grades from 30 to 27.  9th – 12th from 34 to 33.

The DeKalb BOE understands that the increases reflected in this resolution represent no change over 2013-2014 class size maximums.  The  2-student buffer is to capture all potential FTE earnings.

Do we assess the affects of larger class sizes on student performance and offer mitigation plans to deal with performance issues?

From the 2012-2013 school year, we have lower class size from that year particularly in High School.  2012-2013 it was 36, last year we decreased that down to 34.  This year it will be 33.  Over that time period, academic achievement does seem to be rising.

Are all 100 additional teachers going to be in the classroom?  Is that what is getting us to these reductions in class sizes?

They will be in the classroom.  These teachers and better scheduling are enabling us to lower class sizes.

For the public’s notice, those 100 teachers will cost the district $8 million annually in salary plus benefits.  I’d like some clarity on our instructional expenditures to see how much we are spending and how many teachers we got.  If we are under budget, why?