Remember the days a few decades back when educators were saying smaller classroom sizes made for better education? Well now educators in Delaware, 12 or 15 eligible districts have requested waivers to allow class sizes larger than the state limit of 22.
Because the school population is growing in most districts, requiring more teachers and additional classrooms and with budget cut backs, and many referendums which have failed to raise taxes for more schools and teacher pay raises, the alternative seems to be larger class sizes.
Seaford, Laurel and Woodbridge are asking for waivers of the law and have scheduled public hearings; Woodbridge and Laurel both list the 20th of this month for the meetings, but the public notice for Woodbridge lists the 20th as Tuesday, the 20th is on a Wednesday, both hearings at 7:00 Seaford’s is scheduled for Monday , November 25th at 6:00.
/strong> Comments will be accepted, but if you are against the change, I suggest you hold your breath. The Superintendents have brainwashed their boards to pass the wavers and they usually do as they are told. The Red Clay school district is the only board that has not voted for the waiver.
Some districts are limited by physical space, others see a large number of students enroll late, and some have trouble paying additional teacher costs.
I can understand most schools with growth asking for the waiver, but all I have heard from the Laurel administration is how many kids are going to choice schools, wiping out their enrollment. With the new schools, it will appear based on their comments, they may be lucky to reach the current classroom limit of 22. I believe with Laurel, Seaford and Woodbridge it is financial.
Delmar’s elementary schools are part of Maryland, so it is not involved in the waver process.
Passing these waivers may give more reason to take kids out of school because of student ratios. Smaller class sizes give teachers more time to reach students one on one and reduce the potential for distraction.
I spoke with Laurel Superintendent John Ewald today and he says a waiver will only affect a couple kindergarten classes, but he would like the option of using the waiver if need be.
He added when he first arrived in Laurel 100 students left Laurel, and he found himself conducting exit interviews; now he says the tide has turned and this year the enrollment is up; he contributes this to the stability of the school board, the teachers, strong athletic programs and the new school. Parents are saying according to Ewald they want their kids to be a part of the community.