A new bill making class size a mandatory part of collective bargaining could create a financial and logistical nightmare for school districts. OSBA legislative staff are actively advocating against the bill, which is supported by the Oregon Education Association, and seek member support and testimony toward the bill’s defeat.
A similar bill was defeated in 2017, and already several Oregon newspapers have come out with editorials against the new bill and news coverage about it.
If contracts contained maximum class-size language, districts would be forced to either hire more teachers they cannot afford or likely pay teachers some sort of bonus for teaching more than the contract limit. School districts will potentially have to cut other programs to pay soaring salary costs with little to no reduction in class sizes or improvement in students’ education.
The median class size for Oregon is 25 students. The limited research available suggests that to make a significant difference in student achievement, class sizes would have to fall to at most 18 students.
To lower median class sizes statewide by just three students would require about 2,600 additional teachers and cost $575.6 million for the 2019-21 biennium, the Oregon Department of Education calculates. The Brookings Institution, a nonprofit public policy organization, said analysis of education investments showed that class-size reduction was among the least cost-effective strategies for educational improvement.
For more information, please contact Legislative Services Specialist Richard Donovan.
Proposed Oregon law would force class size into school budget talks, Statesman Journal, Feb. 4, 2018
A bad bargain for schools, The Register-Guard, Feb. 2, 2018
Legislature should kill class-size bill, Corvallis Gazette-Times, Feb. 1, 2018
Bill is not the best way to improve education, Bend Bulletin, Jan. 23, 2018
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