Although the state does not put a cap on class sizes, local school systems must pass a resolution stating theirs.
Monday night, the Hall County Board of Education passed its class size resolution, broadening the maximum for special education by a slight margin.
“What the state has done, they said: ‘You do what you need to, but you have to pass a resolution every year just publically stating what those class sizes are,’” said Superintendent Will Schofield. “So this has been the process for the last three or four years.”
Maximum class sizes for special education classrooms now range from six to 16 students, depending on age and program.
Regular, vocational and gifted programs have all stayed the same from last year. Most traditional subjects, including math, English, science and social studies, across all grade levels, have a cap at 35 students per classroom.
Music and other elective classes have cap ranges from 35 to 100.
“The reality of the times is with 90 percent of our budget going to people, class sizes are really all we have to make budget in these challenging times,” said Schofield. “That being said, our board has been great with trying to keep class sizes as low as they possibly can.”
Schofield said over the last three for four years, class sizes have increased, but he “still feels very good about where we are in comparison to our neighbors.”
Parallel to class sizes, the school system reported having moved only five teachers to other locations to help with enrollment influx.
In the past, a number of faculty and staff would have to change locations to accommodate the needs of individual schools.
“In good times, you always really hesitated to move a teacher once school has started just because that’s a traumatic experience,” said Schofield. “In the last few years we’ve been very clear we’re going to move teachers where the kids are.
“People have been very good about recognizing that’s a sign of the times, but we’ve gotten much more cautious about initial placement and we’ve gotten to where we really do very little moving. We hire a few people without assignment and move them the first day of school instead of moving people that are already in the classroom.”
The board also passed the final millage rate at 18.49 — same as the preliminary rate set at the Aug. 6 meeting.