WHEREAS, On September 11, 1997, the Alabama State Board of Education adopted a resolution expressing the belief that small manageable classes of students leads to improved instruction especially in the early grades, and;
WHEREAS, The Alabama State Board of Education continues to support the lowest attainable pupil/teacher ratios in all grades under the funding supplied by the enactment of the 1995 Foundation Program Plan, and;
WHEREAS, Policies regarding the further implementation of the September 11, 1997 Resolution are needed to further clarify and provide guidance to the local school systems throughout Alabama,
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, That the Alabama State Board of Education does amend the Resolution adopted September 11, 1997 regarding class size and hereby proclaims the following policies to be applicable in the implementation of the resolution to attain small manageable classes of students and delegates to the State Superintendent of Education authority to implement these policies consistent with the September 11, 1997 Resolution, and the policies of this Board as follows:
1. Maintain the class size caps as previously stated by the State Board of Resolution adopted September 11, 1997.
2. Foundation units that are earned by a school must be used at that school unless all classes meet the pupil/teacher ratios of the September 11, 1997 State Board Resolution with any combination of federal, state and local teacher units. While not required, if LEAs elect to meet the prescribed ratios for any particular school through a combination of teacher units then the LEA may reassign state units to other schools.
3. Grades K-6 must recognize the correct divisors (K-3, 18-1; 4-6, 26-1) to meet the State Board Resolution.
NOTE: Some schools maintained the same ratios in K-6 which made K-3 overloaded in many instances.
4. Based on class size data collected during the Fall of 1998, the State Superintendents’ FY 2000 Budget will include requests for any additional units needed.
NOTE: The issue of teachers and secretaries having to dispense medication also will require school nurses.
5. Class size changes which may need to be made in January to address grossly overloaded classes, especially in grades K-3, will be handled on a class by class basis.
6. The State Superintendent may grant a waiver to an LEA for unusual situations/circumstances such as using state units from several schools to staff a school dedicated to serving students with disabilities, the staffing of a new school that did not exist the previous year, etc.
7. If a case arises where a local school system does not meet the State Board Resolution regarding class size or obtain an approved waiver, the State Superintendent is authorized to intervene and take action as appropriate to bring said local system into compliance. The steps for intervention will follow those previously established and adopted for financial intervention.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That the Alabama State Board of Education directs that this resolution shall be effective upon its adoption by the State Board and that the State Superintendent of Education shall carry out these policies and interpret the same in a spirit consistent with enhancement of the educational experience for students in Alabama public schools.