MISD Feeling Pinch Of Boom In Class Sizes, Enrollment 8/27/13
CBS 7 News
August 27, 2013
Public schools across the basin are feeling the pinch of the boom. With enrollment up, some are having to turn students away from their desired schools. And with teacher shortages, that means student teacher ratios are also on the rise.
Bonham is the first MISD school to close off enrollment, but it may not be the last--as schools across the basin are bursting at the seams.
"K-4th grade needs to be under 22 total of students for each teacher, for the last two years, we’ve been nowhere near that,” said Midland Superintendent Dr. Ryder Warren.
MISD currently has ten elementary classrooms where the student teacher ratio exceeds the maximum 22 to 1 -- with as many as 27 students in the classroom with one teacher.
"The number one goal is to try to give teachers the ability to have success with every single student,” Warren said.
For parents with children in the system, they're hard numbers to swallow.
"With so many students, it makes it hard to learn without teachers being able to help every student,” said Midlander Theresa who has two kids in MISD schools, she said she was satisfied with her student’s experiences.
With more than 23,000 up more than 2,000 from 2010--it's a difficult goal. MISD still has 11 vacancies for teachers -- hiring those could reduce the student teacher ratio, but after 400 hires, Warren is hesitant.
"We’ve already made the commitment that we’re not just going to put warm bodies in there just to reduce the numbers,” Warren said. “It’s got to be a good quality teacher that we feel comfortable with putting our children with.”
With students still pouring in, MISD administrators meet daily to make changes as needed and could close enrollment off at more schools in the coming days.
Some help is on the way, three new schools are coming. The first public meeting for input on the project is coming up this Thursday evening at 6:30 at Carver Center at 1300 E. Wall St.
ECISD also told us they have closed enrollment at two of its elementary schools and that they are awaiting the hiring of 30-35 more teachers. They were not able to release figures regarding student to teacher ratios, they say those are preliminary and will be changing over the next few weeks.