Senate committee approves compromise for House Bill 13

RALEIGH, NC (AP/WWAY) — Republicans have unveiled legislation depicted as a compromise that prevents North Carolina school districts from having to cut supplemental programs to reduce average class sizes in early grades.

A bill approved by a Senate committee Monday evening would phase-in the reductions for the maximum class sizes in kindergarten through third grades currently scheduled for next fall. Now, those caps won’t have to be met until fall 2018.

This leaves some parents like Emily Donovan concerned for her children’s future.

“I think it’s a good sign for the bill. It obviously means it’s not completely dead in the water. If the superintendents are happy which they seem to be livable with it. And the senators seem to be fine with it. As a parent I want more. I mean obviously I’m going to want more for my children. I’m going to want more for the community,” Donovan said.

Education groups, teachers and parents were worried that without change districts would have to locate money elsewhere to meet lower class sizes by eliminating art, music and physical education instructors or increasing class sizes in other grades.

The measure also would require more reporting by local superintendents about how they are using money designated specifically to lower class sizes.

WWAY spoke with Sen. Michael Lee following the meeting. Lee Says House Bill 13 will head to the Senate Rules Committee Tuesday. If passed by the committee it will then go to the full Senate for final approval. It would then need to go back to the House for concurrence before heading to the governor’s desk.

(Information from The Associated Press was used in this story.)

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