Senator Karen Morgan Responds to State School Board’s Withdrawal of Support for SB 31 – K-3 Class Size Caps

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

For more information, contact:
Emily Bingham Hollingshead
Communications Director, Utah Senate Democrats
435-590-9961
emily.holllingshead@gmail.com

Senator Morgan Issues Response to State School Board’s Withdrawal of Support for SB 31 – K-3 Class Size Caps
SALT LAKE CITY –  Senator Karen Morgan issued the following response today in upon hearing of the State School Board’s withdrawal of support for SB31 K-3 Class Size Caps:
“It is extremely unfortunate and disappointing that the State School Board and State Office of Education have backed off of their support for SB 31, a bill I am sponsoring this legislative session to cap class sizes in Kindergarten through Grade Three.  They state that the bill is “problematic.”  They claim it would be impossible to cap class sizes without additional funding from the legislature.  Their lack of understanding of the state public education budget is what’s problematic.
Additional funding in the amount of $3.2 million dollars will be provided for this bill through the WPU increase to the “above the line” budget items which the Education Appropriations Committee has prioritized.  The class size reduction line item is “above the line”; therefore, it will be increased from the current appropriation of $103,538,700 to $106,200,000.
Utah has the largest class sizes in the nation.  The average pupil-teacher ratio in K-3 classes is 1 to 27.  Many K-3 classes have more than 30 students enrolled.  This is unacceptable and must change.  It’s time for the State Board of Education to be accountable for lowering class sizes.  This is in the best interest of the children of Utah.  SB 31 requires schools to enact those caps, or they will not receive class size reduction dollars.  SB 31 insists on accountability for the dollars they receive.  This is the fiscally responsible thing to do.  I urge their reconsideration.”
For more information or interview requests, please contact Emily Hollingshead at 435-590-9961 or emily.hollingshead@gmail.com.
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