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August 22, 2013 at 6:24 PM

Seattle schools drop proposal to increase class sizes

Corrected version

A proposal to increase the number of students in a class before a classroom aide and higher pay are provided for the teacher was dropped Wednesday by Seattle Public Schools.

The proposal, which was a controversial point in contract negotiations between the school district and the Seattle Education Association (SEA), the local teachers union, would have added two additional students to classrooms in grades 4 to 12. It would have brought fourth- and fifth-grade class sizes to 30 students before an aide and extra pay was given, and high-school teachers could have seen 160 students per day instead of 150.

The current contract expires at the end of the month.

The board meeting Wednesday night was crowded with teachers waiting to hear the decision on the class-size proposal, which would have been a temporary measure. Eventually, money from the capital levy approved in February will be used to create a handful of new schools and expand others to help with excess enrollment issues.

SEA President Jonathan Knapp said the decision was key in “moving the discussion.” He said the negotiations are moving onto other issues such as the metrics by which the district measures student growth and conditional certifications for Teach for America teachers.

The certifications passed a vote of the school board, Seattle School Board member Michael DeBell said.

Correction: The post originally said Michael DeBell was board president. He is a past president.

0 Comments | More in Education, Politics | Topics: class size, Jonathan Knapp, Michael DeBell

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