Hammond teacher worried about increasing class sizes

2012-08-19T21:05:00Z 2012-08-19T23:59:04Z Hammond teacher worried about increasing class sizesBy Carmen McCollum carmen.mccollum@nwi.com, (219) 662-5337 nwitimes.com

HAMMOND | A Clark Middle School/High School teacher is concerned about increased class sizes for the school year.

Tracey Moyers, who teaches sixth-grade math at the middle school, said it's possible there will be 30 to 35 students per class this fall.

"In the past several years, we've had classes as large as 25, not just me, but other teachers, too," she said.

"It's going to be hard to teach students with so many kids in a classroom," she told School City of Hammond board members during a recent meeting.

"Once you see the numbers, I hope you will be able to do something to get the class size down," Moyers said.

Educators often say smaller class sizes allow teachers to spend more individual time working with students, enabling students to perform better on state-mandated tests and other exams.

After the meeting, School Board President Deborah White said the board knew class size was going up. "We have called back some teachers but we won't know exactly what the numbers will be and how many more teachers will be recalled until the first week of school. It's going to depend on enrollment," she said.

White said the district was looking at a deficit for the 2012-13 school year as a result of declining enrollment due to charter schools, vouchers and the state funding formula.

Nearly 200 reduction-in-force letters were sent to Hammond teachers and support staff a couple of months ago, and an additional 12 teachers retired, saving the district about $7.7 million.

Specifically, the district eliminated 33 elementary teachers for a saving of $1.7 million; 64 secondary teachers for a saving of $3.5 million; 80 support staff for a saving of $1.3 million; 22 long-term substitutes for a saving of $200,000; and 12 teachers are retiring for a saving of $1 million.

Hammond Superintendent Walter Watkins did not have specific numbers last week on how many teachers had been recalled so far.  

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