capitol reports

Capitol Report – February 9, 2024

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The legislature is considering a study to consider the potential effects of reducing class sizes in schools on student outcomes, staffing and funding.

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This is Jason Espinoza with today’s capitol report.

Representative Andres Romero, Chairman of the House Education Committee, has introduced House Memorial 20, which requests the Legislative Education Study Committee to study kindergarten through 12th grade class size reductions, including the potential effects on student outcomes, staffing, and funding.

The start of the memorial states, “fewer than one in four students in New Mexico scored “proficient” in reading and math on the national assessment of educational progress tests in 2022, ranking New Mexico the lowest in the nation for student reading and math proficiency” and goes on to note, “national research indicates that reducing kindergarten through twelfth grade class sizes can be an effective means to improve educational outcomes, increase student engagement and improve classroom behavior, particularly in early elementary grades, among at-risk students and in classes with less experienced or effective teachers.”

According to the bill analysis, “New Mexico set class size requirements for K-12 students in the early 1990s and few changes have been made since that time.” According to a 2016 survey by the National Center for Education Statistics, New Mexico’s class size maximums for elementary students are below the national average elementary school class size (26.5 students). New Mexico’s maximum class size for required middle school English courses is close to the national average class size for middle school teachers (26.8 students). However, class size requirements for other courses in 7th through 12th grades are above national average class sizes for these grades (26 to 26.8 students).

For the New Mexico News Network, I’m Jason Espinoza

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