University of Arkansas Office for Education Policy

News From The Capitol: January 28, 2015

In AR Legislature on January 28, 2015 at 7:22 pm

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Maximum Class Size

Today the Senate Committee on Education gave a Do Pass recommendation to a bill that would allow a public school to exceed maximum class size by up to 10% for one semester if a class was at or below the maximum when the semester began. Sen. Bart Hester presented SB 76, explaining that schools in fast-growing communities are faced with violating the current policy on class size or dividing a class mid-semester. Brenda Robinson, President of the Arkansas Education Association spoke against the bill, saying that larger class sizes give teachers less time per student and expressing concern that the legislation would set a precedent for more increases in future. Richard Abernathy, Executive Director of the Arkansas Association of Educational Administrators, said AAEA supports the bill because it gives the school districts flexibility to manage their own specific situations. SB 76 now goes to the House education committee.

Professional Development

The Senate education committee also voted to recommend Do Pass on SB 30 that would change the requirement for 10 professional development (PD) days to “no less than six days.” The bill aligns the PD requirement with available funding but allows school districts to exceed the requirement. SB 30 also moves to the House education committee for its consideration.

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