The Paulding County School Board voted to renew its resolution seeking a waiver from state class size requirements at last week’s meeting for a fifth consecutive year.
This resolution is voted on every year, and has been in effect for the past four years. The state board of education requires the district to reapply annually.
The request seeks to increase the maximum number of students up to five for grades kindergarten to 12th grade in regular education, English language learners, early intervention program, remedial education program, vocational, special education classes and the kindergarten to fifth-grade gifted program.
The gifted program for sixth through eighth grades is increased up to nine students, and gifted program for ninth through 12th grades increased by up to 11 students.
Some class size maximums without the waiver are kindergarten classes with a paraprofessional, 20 students; first through third grades, 21; fourth through eighth grades, 28; and ninth through 12th grade, 32.
“This is no change in what we currently do,” Cole said.
Last year the board increased the number in gifted classes. These classes are usually smaller then regular classes, and normally max out at 17 for kindergarten through fifth grade, and sixth through 12th grades, 21.
The reasoning behind the state board’s decision for allowing waivers is because of the “downturn in the economy,” according to the resolution.
“This downturn will continue to cause declines in local revenue collected to fund public education at the local school district,” according to the resolution.
Cole said it is unfortunate to have the larger class sizes, but the decision to keep the waiver is financially based.
“It is a substantial saving on your personnel cost,” Cole said.