Las Vegas Sun

September 2, 2014

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School Board seeks $11 million to reduce kindergarten class sizes

The Clark County School Board approved an $11 million state grant application Thursday that would allow the School District to meet a new mandatory class size cap for kindergarten.

Earlier this year, Nevada lawmakers approved a kindergarten class size reduction plan for the first time.

Prior to this school year, kindergarten class sizes were not capped, and some classes ballooned to more than 35 students.

Starting this school year, the district began capping kindergarten classes at 21 students at schools with high numbers of English-language learners. By the start of next school year, all kindergarten classes must be capped at 21 students.

To meet the mandate, district officials estimate they will need to hire 166 additional kindergarten teachers.

The $11 million state grant would allow the district to hire those teachers.

Statewide, Nevada has appropriated $25.5 million this fiscal year and $27.9 million next fiscal year to reduce kindergarten class sizes.

Since 1990, when class size reduction began for first through third grades, Nevada has spent $2.5 billion, excluding local capital and operating expenditures, for smaller class sizes.

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