STATE – Thirty-two percent of the state’s public school districts expect to have larger class sizes when the new school year begins, according to a survey by the New Jersey School Boards Association.
Last year, more than half of the responding school districts indicated that class sizes would increase. Most blamed the necessity on the substantial reduction in school aid from the state.
Enrollment increases, the new two-percent cap on property tax levy increases, and the continued effects of state aid reductions were the most commonly cited reasons for larger class sizes this year.
Districts that are expecting level or smaller class sizes credited adjustments to non-instructional spending and rearrangement of instructional programming. Some were also able to take advantage of a larger-than-anticipated number of retirements to hire new staff at lower salary levels.
Forty-one percent of school districts anticipating larger class sizes believe it will have a negative impact on instruction. Twenty percent believe it will have no effect. The remaining districts are not certain.
Just under a third of New Jersey’s public school districts responded to the New Jersey School Boards Association survey.
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