We Need Smaller Class Sizes
Contributed by Doris Yang, a member of the House District 38 Student Leadership Cabinet.
Oregon’s K-12 education system faces many challenges, but large class sizes are one of the most pressing. Many Oregon high schoolers are enrolled in a core class larger than the recommended size. Especially in districts with a high percentage of minority and low income students, large class sizes have led to a host of problems, including less individual instruction and low graduation rates.
As a rising sophomore at Lake Oswego High School, I have felt the effects of a large class size. Not only have I lost one-on-one interaction time with my teachers, it is harder to concentrate in a crowded classroom.
On June 27, the Oregon legislature passed SB 5517, which outlines a $8.2 million K-12 spending budget for the next biennium. Even advocates for the bill acknowledged that it will leave many school districts scrambling for additional funds. While the lack of school funding is disheartening, SB 5517 is the best temporary solution in the wake of the state’s $1.4 billion budget deficit. Lawmakers now have an additional two years to draft new legislation to better address the issue. Though they were not able to fully address Oregon’s education shortfalls this session, politicians on both sides of the aisle have expressed hope for an improved solution in the coming years.