Based on the population in Washington State, our share is approximately $10.4 billion. This could be used, at $58,000 per teacher, to hire almost 180,000 teachers.
Obviously this is unrealistic, but I feel it does highlight how much money is not going to education that could be. Even 5% of that money could hire 9,000 new teachers.
Class size is a continuing problem in my district and particularly in the high school, and I definitely hope this issue rises to the forefront of budgeting decisions this year.
As I mentioned on a blog response earlier this week, one of our assistant superintendents repeatedly states that class size does not greatly affect achievement results at the high school. He says this despite mandating classes of 20 or fewer students for remedial and state-test prep classes and encouraging smaller AP class sizes.
I used my classes two years ago to show how the same course I taught to two classes, one of 18 students and one of 28 students, showed a major contrast in overall achievement. The smaller class had a 10% higher average than the larger class. Plus, the smaller class had no failures.
Did I mention the superintendent sent his kids to a private school where class sizes are half of ours? Hmmm…