Class Size Up for Discussion in Nevada Legislature
With a better financial outlook going into this legislative session, many lawmakers are looking at adding funding to Nevada's education system.
One of the issues on the table is the student-to-teacher ratio in kindergarten through third grade.
"Over the last five years, we've seen education budgets in Nevada cut by nearly a $1 billion. And that means that we've seen class sizes increase," says Lynn Warne, president of the Nevada State Education Association.
Due to those budget cuts - in past legislative sessions - lawmakers have given Nevada's school districts more flexibility in the student-to-teacher ratio allowing them to expand classes to accommodate tighter funding.
Assembly Bill 162 aims to eliminate that flexibility and return class sizes to what they were intended to be pre-budget cuts. That would mean an 18 to 1 ratio for kindergarten through second grade - and a 20 to 1 ratio for third grade.
In many classes - that would mean a big change for teachers.
"You'll find class sizes in Clark County and Washoe County with over 25 youngsters. That's not the optimal learning situation."
On the other side of the issue though - is how to pay for this change.
The Nevada State Education Association is asking for a 2% business margin tax on businesses making more than $1 million a year to benefit K-12 education.
However, that is an issue that is sure to draw criticism from some lawmakers and business owners alike.
At the time of this writing, the bill remained under discussion.