Study: Average class sizes in Nevada are largest in the US
LAS VEGAS (AP) — Teachers in Nevada’s largest school district are trying to find ways to deal with overcrowded classrooms after a study by the National Education Association found that the state had the largest average class sizes in the nation last year for the second year in a row.
Data from the National Education Association shows that Nevada classrooms have added an average of seven students over the past three years, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported earlier this month.
In southern Nevada, the class size issue predates the Clark County School District’s recent budget problems.
Clark County officials made additional budget cuts in May and warned that class sizes would grow.
Some high school classes have up to 50 students.
New Superintendent Jesus Jara has asked his deputy superintendent to work with associate superintendents to ensure that that teachers are fully utilized and that students are more evenly distributed.
“Having class sizes where (teachers are) in a manageable space with students is critical,” he told one group of parents in July.
Under state law, kindergarten classes should have up to 16 students, second grade classes should have up to 17 and third grade classes should have up to 20.
Last year, Steele Elementary School teacher Denise Lovern had a good year with a second grade class of 20 students in a room big enough to hold a fifth-grade class. It was a huge difference from 2016-17 school year when she taught 36 fourth-graders in a portable.
“I felt there were serious strides made,” she said of her smaller class. “The year before with 36, not so much. There’s a lot of teachers that burn out doing it.”
She urges parents and teachers to get more involved in the legislative process. She hopes to see the state’s funding formula revamped soon.
“Nevada’s children deserve smaller class sizes. We need to stop setting up our kids for failure,” she said.
Information from: Las Vegas Review-Journal, http://www.lvrj.com