SALEM — A bill set to go in front of the Legislature could relieve teachers and students of overcrowded classrooms.
The bill would require school districts to discuss class size along with salaries, benefits and other topics when making budget decisions. A public hearing and possible work session on the bill is scheduled for Wednesday.
Oregon has some of the largest classes in the country, with an average of 25 students per class, according to the Oregon Department of Education.
“At some point, you are so overloaded you just hope everyone has a place to sit,” said John Larson, president of the Oregon Education Association, referring to the challenges teachers face. “And students just don’t learn when there are so many students in a room.”
Studies show large class sizes can have negative impacts on attendance, standardized test scores, graduation rates and teacher retention.
There were more than 450 math classes in the state with more than 36 students per class in 2014-15, and more than 70 science classes with more than 46 students, according to the department’s 2016 Class Size Report.