Republican legislation to phase in North Carolina's upcoming class-size mandate has passed one General Assembly chamber. The controversial measure will be discussed on the House floor on Tuesday.
The Senate voted overwhelmingly Friday for the bill, which also locates money for music, art and physical education teachers so that districts can meet lower teacher-student ratios in kindergarten through third grade.
But Democrats complain it's also loaded with other provisions targeting Gov. Roy Cooper. They told colleagues the GOP was playing political games by combining the class-size fix with unrelated items, like changing the state's elections board. The bill also diverts money that Cooper wanted to use for economic and environmental projects toward public schools.
EducationNC's Alex Granados says it's likely the bill will pass.
“The Republicans have far more members in the House than Democrats and so even if every Democrat opposed it, it would still pass the House,” says Granados. “It then goes on to the Governor, who has the option to sign or veto it. If Cooper vetoes the measure, it will go back to the General Assembly for a veto override vote, and Republicans have the numbers to accomplish a veto override, so it looks like this is more or less a done deal.”
There's widespread agreement among educators that smaller class sizes help create better outcomes for students. But they say the legislation passed by lawmakers in 2016 didn't provide the resources needed to implement those changes.
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