School districts across Delaware are faced with a choice each November: do they take a class-size waiver for kids in Kindergarten to 3rd grade allowing more than 22 students or do they look out for the well-being of those kids and fail to pass the waiver? For the Christina School District, their board said no to the waiver, voting 4-3 against it.
Board members John Young, Elizabeth Paige, Angela Mitchell and Harrie Ellen Minnehan voted no while members Fred Pulaski, George Evans, and Meredith Griffin voted yes. Pursuant to Delaware State Code, Title 14, section 1705, school districts and charter schools must decide on these waivers, when applicable, by December 1st of each year. Any funding for extra staff, should a board decide not to take the waiver, comes from the local share of funding. It doesn’t always mean all classes will be 22 or under. It could mean an extra paraprofessional comes into the room which decreases the student to teacher ratio.
This evening, Red Clay’s boards will vote on this action as well. In an earlier version of this story, I noted Capital would be voting on class-size waivers. In looking at their Board Docs, none of their elementary schools exceed 22 students in Kindergarten to 3rd grade so no vote is necessary.
For Christina, the elementary schools affected by this will be Brookside, Downes, Elbert-Palmer, Keene, Leasure, Maclary, Marshall, and Stubbs.
I am always against overstuffed classrooms. It is not good for the students, the teachers, or the schools. Christina’s board has never said no to the class-size waiver until their vote last evening. Kudos to the no voters for being the voice of reason!