Senate Education Committee Approves Bill to Reduce Class Size

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Susan Rubio (D-Baldwin Park) introduced legislation that would give districts and charter schools with student-to-teacher ratios of twenty to one additional funding. The Senate Education Committee unanimously approved the measure.

Incentivizing local education agencies to drop the student-to-teacher ratio to 20:1 in kindergarten through third grade classes would enable pupils to get more essential personalized attention and interaction with instructors.

“As a public school teacher for 17 years, I know firsthand how difficult it can be in large classes to give each child the attention they deserve,” said Senator Susan Rubio. “California is behind the nation when it comes to the number of students per teacher. Some classes have over 30 students, and California class size is higher than the national average. Every child learns differently, and SB 1431 will allow teachers to meet a student’s academic and personal needs.”

Researchers at Princeton University found that students in California’s CSR program outperformed those who remained in larger classes, and that these effects were even more pronounced among students of color and those from lower-income households. The National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) test scores of California fourth-graders in mathematics rose slightly between 1996 and 2000, according to research. As for results in terms of juvenile criminal conduct, adolescent pregnancy, high school graduation, and college enrollment and completion, kids who were in CSR classes fared better than those in non-CSR classrooms.

Education Code Section 42238.02 is amended by adding an incentive for school districts and charter schools that maintain an average class enrollment of no more than 20 students for grades K-3, resulting in an adjustment of 32.5 percent of the base grant.

The Senate Appropriations Committee has now taken up this bill.