A New Bill Would Allow More Students in the Classroom - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

04/24/07

A New Bill Would Allow More Students in the Classroom

A new bill could mean packed classrooms for Georgia high schools. That bill does away with the old class size rules and allows for slightly bigger classes in subjects such as math, science, and social studies.

Valinda Gilchrist teaches science at Johnson high school, she already has the maximum amount of students in her biology class 28, but that number could soon change to 32.

"We already have to address different learning styles of kids and the more kids the more learning styles we have to address," said Gilchrist.

Valinda says it's already difficult to help students who are struggling, and the more students you have the less you'll be able to do.

"You have to limit the amount of hands on activities then you would with a smaller class size. and even with the 28 there are a lot of safety issues involved - with the 32 that means you'll have to cut out the curriculum that you would normally do," said Gilchrist.

Principal Derrick Muhammad agrees.

"It's sad because I think 28 is too high we should get it down to 22 in a classroom per teacher. The number shouldn't be going up it should be going down," said Muhammad.

At Johnson high school they are already overcrowded, they have over 200 students than capacity and teachers say to increase the class size would just hurt the students.

"It's not helping the students I thought that is what we are all about," said Gilchrist.

For now class sizes will stay at 28, but depending on what Governor Sonny Perdue decides Valinda could see a few more students in her biology class come next year.

The bill is still on the Governor's desk, we'll let you know what happens.

Reported by: Brooke Kelley, bkelley@wtoc.com

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