‘Impacts quality of education:’ DCPS proposed class sizes concern local union

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Staff cuts proposed for Duval County Public Schools means larger class sizes next year according to an email sent out last week by Interim Superintendent Dr. Dana Kriznar.


“If those class sizes are bigger and there are more students he could get lost in the mix,” Angelica Hurtado, a mother, said with concerns about her son. She sends both her children to school with one expectation. “To get the treatment from the teacher that they should receive.”

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But a proposal to cut more than 700 positions at DCPS puts her expectations on the line as the district loses enrollment in traditional schools to charters.

According to the district, class sizes will increase to 22 students in grades pre-K through 3rd grade, which is four more students than the state recommended average. In fourth and fifth grade, DCPS’ average will be two more than the state recommendation with a 24-student class size.

RELATED: ‘Drain on public schools:’ DCPS loses tens of millions of dollars to charters

There are more than four students than the recommended average in grades four through six which will have a class size of 26.5. And in high school there will be a 29.5-student class size which is four over the state requirement.

Duval Teachers United, the local union, said class sizes were already a problem before last week’s announcement from district leaders.

“This has a direct impact on the quality of education that Duval County Public Schools can provide to its students. They have to think about that,” Tammie Brooks-Evans, Duval Teachers United’s president, said.

The district told Action News Jax in part that new budgeted class sizes “do not include staffing from federal funds and exceptional student education” which “goes into the formula to meet state requirements.”

DCPS said the main reason for staff cuts is the funding its lost towards charter schools as the state pushes school choice with vouchers (https://tinyurl.com/bdfnahe7).

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