Midland, Ector County School Districts Request Class Size Waiver - KWES NewsWest 9 / Midland, Odessa, Big Spring, TX: newswest9.com |

Midland, Ector County School Districts Request Class Size Waivers

By Iline Tang
NewsWest 9

MIDLAND/ODESSA – The state of Texas has a mandate that requires Kindergarten through fourth grade to have a 22-to-1 student-teacher ratio.

If it exceeds the limit, the district must submit a request for a class size waiver, listing off what classrooms at what school are over the cap and why.

"They realize that there are situations all around the state every single year where districts are either growing very quickly or they have grown and are in the middle of building new schools,” Ector County ISD Public Information Officer, Mike Adkins, said. 

This year, MISD sent in a request for 18 waivers and got them approved on Thursday by the Texas Education Agency.

"Even though 18 is more than what we would like, it is a fairly low amount considering the size of our district,” Elizabeth York, Communications Specialist for the Midland Independent School District, said. 

The elementary schools that received the waivers are Bush, Emerson, Fannin, Parker, Santa Rita, Travis and Washington. As for ECISD, we're told this year is the most requests they've put in for class size waivers.

"We have 172 waiver requests that we've made for those kindergarten through fourth grade classes,” Adkins said.

Adkins says they haven't submitted their request to the Texas Education Agency just yet.

"Our school board meeting is next Tuesday where the waiver has to be approved by our school board and then submitted to TEA,” Adkins said.

The class size waivers are just documents the TEA will have on hand. Those documents show where the districts are over the limit. Why are those classrooms over the cap? School officials say it's a lack of teachers and other problems.

"If we had all of the teachers that we needed, we probably would not have classrooms even to put them in. Brand new classrooms for themselves. The relief comes next school year when we open three brand new elementary schools,” Adkins said.

Between the two school districts, there's about 100 teacher openings. But for right now, school officials are focusing on where to place students and how to handle the growth problem.
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