This past Saturday a rally was held in Raleigh by public school advocates calling on the General Assembly to fix the class size mandate that is quickly threatening the landscape of public education.
And one person from the General Assembly who did come to speak with teachers. parents, and supporters was Sen. Jay Chaudhuri.
Not only was he present – he was interacting.
Most of all he LISTENED.
And today, one day before another special session of the North Carolina General Assembly, Sen. Chaudhuri announced that he will file legislation to fix the class size mandate.
As reported by Billy Ball on NC Policy Watch,
Sen. Jay Chaudhuri, a member of the state Senate’s education committee, confirmed to Policy Watch that he will file legislation intended to offer local school districts flexibility over how they distribute students in grades K-3.
“The dispute about class room sizes is not a partisan issue,” said Chaudhuri. “It’s an issue caught in the middle of a dispute between the House and the Senate. Unfortunately, it’s our children who have been caught in the middle. And, it needs to stop now. That’s why we need to pass this bill now” (http://pulse.ncpolicywatch.org/2018/01/09/senate-democrat-file-fix-north-carolina-class-size-crisis/#sthash.tUDq4NqK.4YUZj68r.dpbs).
Sen. Chaudhuri can not be thanked enough.
Not only is he filing a bill that will help alleviate the constraints of the class size mandate, he is calling out fellow senators who refused to even listen to the original HB13 bill that passed unanimously in the House.
Chaudhuri said his bill will be similar to the original version of House Bill 13, filed last year by several House Republicans. The original legislation allowed for school districts to exceed the maximum class size average and individual class sizes mandated by the state.
Interesting that the original version of HB13 was passed with the vote of all GOP House members, but GOP senators in the Senate refused to acknowledge their arrogant mistakes. Instead, many placed the blame on the local school systems.
Like Sen. Chad Barefoot:
“For years, the General Assembly has been sending tens of millions of dollars to districts for new classroom teachers for the purpose of lowering classroom sizes,” he said. “The question we keep asking over and over again is, ‘What did they do with the money? …The data that we have received from the districts varies, and some districts did not fully respond to our information request. What some of the data has shown is that there are districts that did not reduce class sizes with the funding we sent them. Why are they holding art and PE teachers’ jobs hostage for their misallocation of classroom teacher funds?” (http://www.wral.com/law-reducing-class-size-has-music-art-pe-teachers-anxious-about-future-/16628678/).
Or Sen. Phil Berger:
“Those reductions have already been fully funded.”
Sen. Chaudhuri is calling them on their bluff because those very same people can not even prove that money was given to local school systems. That’s what we need.
And I thank him for that.