11:33am

Wed February 8, 2012
Haslam Proposes Lifting Class Size Limits

Governor's Education Plan Gets Chilly Reception

MOUNT PLEASANT, Tenn (AP/WMOT) — Governor Bill Haslam's plan to lift a cap on class size averages is meeting resistance from educators.

The Republican is calling the proposal a key element of his effort to allow school districts to hike teacher salaries. Haslam told reporters after visiting a Maury County middle school Tuesday that Tennessee is the only state to set maximums for both total and average class sizes.

Haslam says increasing class size means schools could get by with fewer teachers, freeing up the money needed to pay the remaining teachers higher salaries.

The educators WMOT spoke with don't seem to be buying that argument. Harry Gill is Director of Schools in Rutherford County.

"To expect more, and at the same time increase the load on teachers is ludicrous. I'm just terribly disappointed that that bill is out there, and I think that's pretty much the consensus among superintendents."

Gill says he doesn’t know any teacher who would agree to a larger class size for the small salary increase the Governor’s plan offers.