WHEREAS, the Alabama State Board of Education believes that small, manageable classes of students lead to improved instruction, especially in the early grades; and
WHEREAS, the Alabama State Board of Education supports the lowest attainable pupil-teacher ratios in all grades under the funding supplied by the enactment of the 1995 Foundation Program Plan; and
WHEREAS, the Alabama State Board of Education believes that SACS maximum pupil-teacher ratios designated to apply to eleven southern states are too large to facilitate quality education programs unique to Alabama; and
WHEREAS, the Alabama State Board of Education realizes and appreciates the unique situations present in each and every school regarding special populations of students, offering electives, and building a broad-based educational program on limited local tax funds, while also acknowledging that student migration varies greatly in Alabama and that some facilities are limited in additional space, to name only a few of the daily factors associated with managing a local school:
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, That the Alabama State Board of Education does hereby proclaim the following timetable for limiting class size in the classrooms of public schools in Alabama, and that exceptions to this timetable and class size limitations contained within can only be authorized by the State Superintendent of Education after a review of each request on a case-by-case basis:
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That the Alabama State Board of Education realizes that the adoption of this resolution is after the beginning of the 1997-98 school year and that for the most part class assignments and personnel decisions have been finalized in each local system, but the Alabama State Board of Education does recognize that with the third year of funding for the full phase-in of the Foundation Budget, schools should be able to implement these standards by January 1998 and the pupil-teacher ratios shall be in effect from that date forward, and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That the State Superintendent of Education will review waiver requests from local school districts on a case-by-case basis as long as the waiver requests individually include a remedy plan for implementing the pupil-teacher ratios within the local school district in whichever schools they occur; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That the State Superintendent of Education shall conduct a statewide survey of school districts and schools therein and present a report to the State Board of Education by April 1998 to ascertain the exceptions to the pupil-teacher ratios instituted with third year Foundation Program Funds and if the pupil-teacher ratios can continue to be implemented as described in this resolution or whether the State Superintendent of Education shall recommend to the State Board of Education a modification of these adopted ratios.