With teachers having to teach more periods, shorter class periods and students being turned away from classes they need, Senate Bill 30A brings a whole lot of bad, and not enough good.

Voted on in 2002, a law passed that limits the number of students enrolled in a single class. This law specifies that the maximum number for a high school academic class is 25 students. Better known as the Class Size Reduction Amendment, the law was put in place to ensure that overcrowding did not occur in the classroom. However, this law causes a multitude of problems.

The days of teachers having six periods and time to work are out the door. Because of this law, each teacher needs to teach one extra class period to accommodate the students affected by class size limits. More classes means less time for these teachers to plan and additional class papers to grade. By adding another period, one is making  teachers’ jobs harder.

In order to compensate for the number of students, all Orange County Public high schools have seven period days. Because there are now seven periods instead of six it causes students to have more homework, as this is another class to study for, plus it only gives 49 minutes per class period. The loss in time adds up to 30 days of instruction lost. For those who argue that more one-on-one time is implicated with the amendment, the truth is that each student is losing almost five weeks of class time.

Even with the seven periods, students are not able to take the classes they need or desire. Some students are not able to take honors classes due to the fact that all the available honors classes are at the maximum capacity.

Students signed up for classes at the end of last year thinking they would be ready to go at the start of the current year, but the inevitable schedule mistakes always present at the beginning of a new year meant students were not able to switch into the proper classes. Students should not have to change the classes they registered for simply because there are already 25 students in the desired class.

By turning students away from the classes, one is affecting their whole future. If students are on the honors or advanced placement track and have made the personal decision to take these classes, they should be able to follow through with their plans. By forcing students to take only the classes that are “left over,” one is interfering with the education of students, possibly negatively impacting their future.

While others would like to argue that smaller classrooms lead to more one-on-one time between teachers and students, the class size amendment is doing more harm than good. This law forces teachers to teach an additional class, causes a 30 day overall time loss from the school year and disables students from being able to take the desired or necessary classes. In addition to all the negatives, the state will reportedly fine school districts $2,700 for every student over the 25 limit. With the budget cuts that education has already suffered, imposing this fine only
causes more problems than it is fixing.

By admin

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