The B.C. Government has introduced legislation which would impose class size limits in grades 4-12 in public schools. Under Bill 33, the Education (Learning Enhancement) Statutes Amendment Act, the government will limit:
- Classes in grades 4-7 to no more then 30 students, unless the teacher consents and the principal and district superintendent approve;
- District average class size for grades 4-7 to no more than 28 students;
- Classes in grades 8-12 to no more then 30 students, except with the approval of the principal and superintendent and prior consultation with the teacher; and
- The number of special needs students to no more than three per class, except with the approval of the principal and superintendent and prior consultation with the teacher.
The proposed legislation also requires each school board to establish a school planning council (SPC) for each school in the district. Principals must consult with the SPC on class organization within 15 days from the start of the school year.
Superintendents will be required to submit a report on class organization to the school board and district parent advisory committee. The report, which must be presented at a public meeting and then submitted to the Minister of Education, must include a rationale for the organization of classes over the legislated limits.
The Minister of Education may appoint a special administrator if a board does not comply with the legislation. If the board does not follow the orders of the administrator, the board may be dissolved and a trustee appointed.
In 2002, the government legislated class size limits for kindergarten to Grade 3 and district averages for grades 4 through 12.
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