Just say "no" to larger class size, teacher load

The school year is waning, and principals seem to think we’re fatigued and willing to accept anything just to get the year over with. For next school year, many principals are asking our teachers to accept more students into their classrooms, or perhaps to teach more classes than the contract will allow. Apparently, administration has forgotten Article 301 of our contract, quoted directly here:

  • All school and grade level regular elementary classes (kindergarten and grades 1-5) will be organized in each school building on the basis of approximately 25 pupils per classroom teacher.
  • All middle school academic classes will be organized in each school building on the basis of approximately 30 pupils per classroom teacher.
  • All high school academic classes will be organized in each school building so as to have an average class size in each departmental area of approximately 28 pupils.

The March 2009 Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) regarding the Eight-Period Day states that middle and high school teachers shall not be assigned more than five periods of instruction. Additionally, the MOA limits the student load per teacher to a maximum of 150.

Exceptions to class size and teacher load can be made, but a waiver from the contract must be approved by the Reform Panel.

Increasing class size is a sure way to reduce the overall effectiveness of a teacher. Making a class bigger, even for only a month, does not help us teach children. When teachers decide to take too many students, they are reducing the number of teachers in the bargaining unit and preventing laid-off teachers from being recalled.