A $17 million budget deficit and teacher layoffs in the Plano Independent School District will lead to larger class sizes.
Decreasing the amount of time each teacher could spend with each student could save the district roughly $6 million.
Most classes would see an increase in only one or two students, but more could be added per each art, music and English-as-second-language classes. According to the school board the aim is to increase class size to avoid having to cut more teachers.
The Plano ISD classroom average size is 14, just shy of the state average of 15.
According to a massive research project on the subject endowed by the State of Tennessee known as STAR (Student Teacher Achievement Ratio), a consistently positive small-class effect was shown. Small-class students exceeded their peers across all school locations (rural, urban, inner city, suburban), on every achievement measure, and for all subjects.
The school board will vote on the proposal to increase class sizes on March 3.
Holly LaFon is a journalist in Dallas who has written and worked for various area publications including D Magazine and Examiner.