NC Public Schools Budget Flexibility Act would remove restrictions on K-12 class size

The state Senate Education Committee is scheduled to discuss a bill today that would remove restrictions on the size of K-12 classes.

The North Carolina Public Schools Budget Flexibility Act would replace current caps on class size with an instruction to local school administrations to “use allotted teacher positions to maximize student achievement.” The bill would also strike down many of the current restrictions on the transfer of funds between categories, giving local school boards increased discretion over the distribution of funding in their district.

Here’s the class-size section of the bill:

(c)        Maximum Class Size. – Local school administrative units shall have the maximum flexibility to use allotted teacher positions to maximize student achievement.The average class size for each grade span in a local school administrative unit shall at no time exceed the funded allotment ratio of teachers to students. At the end of the second school month and for the remainder of the school year, the size of an individual class shall not exceed the allotment ratio by more than three students. At no time may the General Assembly appropriate funds for higher unit‑wide class averages than those for which State funds were provided during the 1984‑85 school year.

Read the full text of the bill here.

The bill’s primary sponsors are Sen. Jerry Tillman, Sen. Tamara Barringer, and Sen. Trudy Wade.

Jerry Tillman explains his support:

“Why should we tell schools what’s the best way to spend their money?” said state Sen. Jerry Tillman, a Randolph County Republican who is a primary sponsor of the bill and co-chairman of the Education Committee. “We need to put the decision in the hands of the people who are running the schools.”

News & Observer – NC bill would eliminate class-size limits