Too Many Students?

By: Nick LaFave
By: Nick LaFave

Parent after parent pleaded with the school district at a board meeting Monday Night to hire a new teacher. They think 20 students is too many for a fourth grade class at Cornell Elementary and want the extra teacher.

The district has a limit of 29 students per class... anything over that and a new teacher is brought in. This class meets that limit, but does not exceed it.

One mother says some students in the class require special attention for math, science, emotional needs and a few don't speak English as their first language. She feels this circumstances should allow for an exception to the classroom limit rule.

The board, however, voted 3-3 on the proposal to hire the new teacher. The hire needed a majority to pass... which it did not have. The same mother was upset, because one board member was not present and could potentially have broken the deadlock in favor of hiring the new teacher.

Okemos is not unique, though. Grand Ledge, a comparable school district, has a fourth grade class of 27 students. And has a higher standard for adding a teacher at 32 students. Two more than the Okemos standard.


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