The Senate Education Committee will take public testimony on SB 1326 on Wednesday. The IEA-crafted legislation would require Idaho to develop an accurate database of information that accounts for the actual student-teacher ratio in every Idaho classroom. This legislation, sponsored by Sen. Janie Ward-Engelking (D-Boise), would require the State Department of Education to gather, compile, and report by grade, the number of students in every Idaho elementary school classroom and by grade and subject in every secondary school classroom.
The debate over class size has been going on for decades. Since the recession, teachers have reported that their class sizes have continued to grow. When teachers hear policymakers make statements about class sizes that do not accurately reflect the reality in Idaho classrooms, teachers grow frustrated. The SDE is unable to accurately report the actual number of students in every Idaho classroom. This data is crucial to make good decisions. The IEA developed SB1326 to allow for the collection and reporting of this data that is necessary to assure reasoned discussions and informed decisions.