Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools system is calling on lawmakers to give them an extension on rolling out new K-3 class size restrictions. That's after lawmakers declined to include funds to build new classrooms in an updated state budget proposal.
CMS legislative liaison Charles Jeter says without the funds or the extension, the school district will likely have to take classroom space away from higher grades, making those classes more crowded. He fears lawmakers will leave them with no choice.
"The General Assembly is well aware of our position. They're well aware that school districts across the state are in dire need of this extension," he said, "and for whatever reason, they will not give it us based on what we've seen so far this calendar year."
The new class size limits were signed into law in March 2018. They require North Carolina school districts to ensure that by the 2020-2021 school year:
- Kindergarten classes have no more than 18 students
- First grade classes have no more than 16 students
- Second and third grade classes have no more than 17 students
CMS school board members have previously said that to meet the new requirements in the alotted time, they would need at the very least $20 million to purchase new trailers and convert them to classrooms.
Jeter says the school district would prefer to build traditional brick-and-motar classrooms.
Corrected June 27, 2019 - A previous version of this story incorrectly stated that K-3 class sizes would be limited to no more than 18. The story has been updated to reflect the varied restrictions for each grade.