Lafayette Parish School board members have decided to increase student-teacher ratios as a way to battle their budget deficit.
At Wednesday’s meeting, the school board voted 6-3 to increase the student-teacher ratio by one student in schools that received a grade of A, B or C from the state last year. The move will save the district close to $4 million.
Parent, Branda Goodie, says she’s against the decision. “As teachers come into the classroom they’re more focused on discipline than actually teaching the students so I feel that it would take away from the instruction of the students.”
Board Member, Mary Morrison, says the maximum number of students allowed will be 29.
“We did research to see the number of D and F schools we had versus A, B and C to see if we could actually do this. We could save that substantial amount of money,” says Morrison.
Morrison says 35 out of 40 principals were for the decision. She says 30 teachers at this time are retiring and will not be replaced and said the increased student-teacher ratio will result in fewer classrooms.
Goodie believes this will only hurt the children’s ability to learn. “It’s enough they can’t get the one on one as it is, but now we’re adding more students so I feel like some children are going to fall behind.”
Morrison says this decision could be only temporary and says this is a way to help relieve their $16 million budget shortfall. “This is not written in stone. We are going to continue to look for other cuts and if we see we can put that money back into the classroom, we will.”
Morrison says the increased student-teacher ratios will not take effect until next school year.