Macon County Schools Expecting Larger Class Sizes, Fewer Teachers
As students return to Macon County Schools, the district is coping with cuts the General Assembly made to education this year. Teachers and administrators are telling parents to expect larger class sizes for their kids as they return back to school. From their story,
Bigger class sizes are expected when Macon County students go back to school next week. Some teachers are expecting as many as 25 to 30 students compared to about 20 last year.
Tyler Faetz says he'll maintain his commitment to quality teaching English at Franklin High School. But he says more kids in the room, makes it harder. "The larger your population the more difficult it is to work with those small groups and give students that individual attention," he says.
Administrators say it's the result of lawmakers making cuts to teaching allocations. They say fewer teachers and teaching assistants means re-arranging staffing and making due with less. "For instance here at Franklin High School, we've had to absorb a Spanish teaching position, an English position. Nantahala School has absorbed a Math position, Macon Middle School is also going to be doing without a media coordinator," says Superintendent Chris Baldwin.
Baldwin says the General Assembly's funding combination this year leaves the school system in a bind. "We've had to account for the teacher raise for our locally paid teachers and other local employees, and also for cuts to the teacher assistant allotment. The two combined amount to about 475 thousand dollars in funding that we'll have to come up with out of cuts. The way we're going to manage this is through the attrition of 7 teaching positions and 5 teaching assistant positions," he says.