POSTED: Monday, June 6, 2011 - 6:34pm
UPDATED: Tuesday, June 7, 2011 - 6:38am
AUSTIN — The Texas Senate has passed a measure that allow schools to increase elementary class sizes and move quicker to dismiss teachers to help ease budget strains.
The measure must now pass the House. The Legislature is meeting in special session to pass new school finance laws to balance the budget. Lawmakers are reducing the state's obligation to school districts by $4 billion.
Republican Sen. Florence Shapiro said the bill passed Monday would give school administrators more flexibility in adjusting to the budget cuts. Teacher groups argue smaller class sizes result in better education and oppose raising the limit.
The current limit is 22 students and has been state law for nearly 30 years. The proposed change would allow schools to seek waivers to raise the limit to 25.