Class Size Controversy

AMARILLO, TEXAS - High Plains educators are asking for you to speak-out against a possible state-funding budget-cut they say could hurt school children.

Texas State Comptroller Susan Combs is recommending class sizes kindergarten through fourth grade be changed from a maximum of 22 students to an average of 22 students. That's to make up for an estimated $25 billion budget shortfall.

"I think this is the biggest mistake in the world. Teachers cannot spend the time needed with kids when they have too many," Principal Sharla Wilson said.

But others argue Texas has to clean house and straighten up it's finances. These cuts could save an estimated $558 million a year mostly by eliminating almost 12,000 teacher positions.

It's also estimated the change would only increase class sizes by about three extra children. The political think tank education action group released the follow statement of support:

"In reality, it's a virtually painless, common-sense move that will cause very few problems in the classroom and save a bundle of money."

Each school district would still have the option of lower classes sizes if they could afford it. Dumas for example says they will try to keep classes small, but:

"What ever they decide, we're going to rise to meet the challenge. And hopefully they can find the cuts that will not effect the learning level of students, which is the foundation to economic growth in the state of Texas," Dumas Superintendent Mark Stroebel said.