CREATED Apr. 23, 2013
Las Vegas, NV (KTNV) -- "I'd like you to open up to page 66," Ms. Stauffer said as she prepares to read to her 6th grade class of 40 students at James Cashman Middle School. The kids are sitting at tight tables and students are feeling cramped.
Sixth-grader Angela Siapn, explains why it's hard to learn in an overcrowded classroom.
"With everyone talking I can't hear the teacher explain what we are learning," Angela said.
Overcrowding also makes it difficult for other students to keep up, so this legislative session school officials are pushing forward plans to shrink class sizes an average of three students.
"We have to do better by our students, we have to do better by our teachers, we have to do better for the community," CCSD Interim Superintendent, Pat Skorkowsky, said.
The plan calls on state lawmakers to fund the hiring of 4,000 new teachers so kids can spread out.
"This is a message to the legislature -- we have a plan we want to hire teachers -- we want to reduce class sizes, so now you have to act," Pres. Clark County Education Assoc., Ruben Murillo, said.
Educators attribute smaller class sizes to better one-on-one attention between students and teachers, plus an improvement in test scores and graduation rates.
"If I have a question I have to go after school to ask it because there is just not enough time at school," Siapno said.
The plan to hire 4,000 new teachers would roll out over the next four years. The teacher's union said it would cost about $120 million to jump start the initial hiring. The district said its revamped the human resources department and is working with recruiters to find qualified educators.