Social Distancing Is Our New #ClassSizeChaos

Remember when Sen. Chad Barefoot said this in February of 2017 concerning House Bill 13?

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?

I do.

I thought about it a today as I reread Justin Parmenter’s December 2017 on-point op-ed in the News & Observer entitled “N.C. Senate ignores the class-size crisis”.

Sen. Barefoot’s empty claim about having already “funded” the class size mandate was not the only one made, and it actually is the same manufactured lie conveniently used by GOP-stalwarts in Raleigh at the time to hopefully silence the #ClassSizeChaos movement.

And here we are four years later with another “Class Size Chaos” situation called social distancing.

“Class Size Chaos” was a term attached to the NCGA’s push for a state mandate while having ther unwillingness to actually fund it. It was about how many people are in a classroom for maximum learning expereince.

In a sadistic way, the state’s overreaching push to send students back into school buildings is quite similar: appearing to care about how many people might be in a classroom (and even school buses) but not helping to fund what would need to happen to fulfill that.

Social distancing in high schools is in and of itself another “Class Size Chaos” – except this one is in the middle of a pandemic.

But the same people who didn’t fund the original mandate are the same ones who can’t pass a new budget and call upon local school districts to fend for themselves.