QUAPAW, Ok. — The Oklahoma Department of Education is taking steps toward reducing class sizes for students in Oklahoma.
In an effort to improve retention rates and performance for students in Oklahoma, the state department of education is pushing for smaller classroom sizes.
Mandating this has not been enforced in the past decade.
David Carriger, Quapaw Public Schools Superintendent, said, “Believe a number of years ago when funding was cut across the state of Oklahoma they reduced some of the laws. They knew school district were having a hard time getting teachers especially with budget cuts.”
But Senate Bill 193 passed earlier this year, would ensure kindergarten and 1st grade classes not exceed the limit of more than 20 students in the classroom.
“It will be a financial penalty or some type of accreditation penalty.”
Eventually, officials hope to expand that measure to other grade levels.
This is something districts across the state are raising awareness and support of.
Sheri Compton, Quapaw Elementary Principal, said, “I think we can meet students needs better with larger class sizes we have difficulty sometime discipline. With sometimes meeting students needs individually with a smaller class size we can really tailor the instructor to their needs.”
About 100 million dollars of funding has to be allocated to state funding prior to the changes being enforced in the sooner state.
State and education leaders say they are looking at reduced class sizes going into effect during the 2021-22 school year.
“Making sure we have enough money to hire new teachers that’s going to have to be one of top priorities legislature has to look at this year and number two is finding teachers in the four state area we have a shortage of teachers how are we going to go about finding that many teachers to go into the classes of Oklahoma,” said Carriger.