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Money for Class Size Reduction Is on Its Way!

Share The U.S. Department of Education just mailed the first installment of Class-Size Reduction funds allocated for the school year 2000-2001. Those funds will enable local communities to hire an estimated 29,000 teachers. Included: How much of the $1.3 billion dollars will your state be getting? Plus resources to help you put this hot issue in perspective!

The check is in the mail!

On July 3, the U.S. Department of Education started mailing the first installment of $1.3 billion in Class-Size Reduction funds allocated for the school year 2000-2001. Those funds will enable local communities to hire an estimated 29,000 teachers to reduce class sizes in grades 2 through 3, according to U.S. Secretary of Education Richard W. Riley. The program will benefit approximately 1.7 million children -- in 90,000 classrooms and more than 20,000 schools -- in the upcoming school year, Riley reported.

How Much Money Will Your State Get?

FY 2000 Class Size Reduction State Allocations details how much money each state will receive this month and in the second installment that will be mailed in October. In addition, the chart shows amounts being sent to the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, U.S. territories, and the Bureau of Indian Affairs. Each state's funding is allocated on a formula basis, targeted to the poorest school districts.

Class Size: From the Education World Archive

Education World has covered both sides of the "Are smaller classes the answer?" debate. The articles below provide links to current research on the issue. You'll find opinions and resources no matter which side you stand on in this much-debated issue.

  • Are Smaller Classes the Answer?

  • The Debate Over Class Size Part 1: Class Size Does Matter!

  • The Debate Over Class Size Part 2: The Critics Have Their Say

  • Administration Resources: Class Size/ School Size

  • Class Size Reduction: Success Stories

  • "The benefits of small class size with qualified teachers -- for both students and teachers -- are abundantly clear. President Clinton and Vice President Gore have made education a national priority -- and the American public has made it clear that they agree," said Riley in announcing the mailing of the first round of checks.

    "Twice before, bipartisan congressional majorities have supported the president's proposal to help local communities throughout the nation lower class size. Unfortunately, now, with its most recent budget, the majority in Congress is preparing to break its promise to parents, students, and the American public by failing to continue this funding. I sincerely hope that the Congress can move beyond partisanship and work together with the administration to continue to support smaller classes in early grades," Riley said in a Department of Education press release.

    "Class-size reduction is something that is so clearly beneficial to helping our children learn and helping teachers teach better that I am bewildered by any effort to block it," added Riley. "Indeed, we must reject the efforts of those who would force communities to choose either smaller classes or better prepared teachers, when we plainly have the resources necessary to invest in both."

    One hundred percent of the funds mailed this month and in October go to local school districts, which may use the funds directly to hire teachers in grades K through 3, recruit and test new teachers, or provide training opportunities to upgrade the skills of their teaching staff. Districts that have already reduced class size to 18 or fewer students in grades K through 3 can use their allocations to make further reductions in those grades, reduce class size in other grades, or carry out activities to improve teacher quality.

    Gary Hopkins
    Education World® Editor-in-Chief
    Copyright © 2000 Education World

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