LAFAYETTE, Louisiana — Many Lafayette Parish classrooms will have one additional student in them next year.
The Advertiser reports (http://bit.ly/1DJQyp9) the school board voted 6-3 Wednesday to increase the student/teacher ratio by one student in schools that received a grade of A, B or C from the state last year. The move will save the district close to $4 million.
Under the new ratios, there will be 24 students per class in kindergarten, first, second and third grades; 26 students per class in fourth grade and 29 students per class in fifth through 12th grades, according to board documents.
Because of resignations and retirements, officials do not expect to lay off any teachers. However, some will likely be transferred to different sites because of the new numbers.
Schools that received a D or F grade last year will not be subject to the new ratios.
The vote was the first step in closing the district's $15 million deficit. Many board members said they hope officials will continue looking for other ways to save money that have less of a direct impact on classrooms.
"We have the power to back off of it," board member Britt Latiolais said of the increase. "It's not an easy decision. It's not one I want to make. It's one I have to make. We have the power to back off if the money is found, and that is the first place I will support — going back into the classroom and making them smaller."
L.J. Alleman Principal Kathy Aloisio said she surveyed the district's principals. Of the 41 principals, 35 said they would agree to increasing the ratios for the higher-rated schools, she said.
Information from: The Advertiser, http://www.theadvertiser.com
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