Bill would reduce WA K-12 class sizes, add staff

Over 300 sign up to speak against teacher evaluation bill

OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) — A bill introduced in the House would lower class sizes in Washington state and hire more public school teachers and other staff members.

Rep. Roger Goodman, sponsor of House Bill 2589, said the goal is to make class size reduction a priority as the Legislature adds dollars to the education budget as mandated by the Washington Supreme Court.

The court ruled in 2012 the state isn’t meeting its constitutional obligation to amply pay for basic education.

The bill would make annual additions to school staffing levels with a priority of adding teachers to high poverty schools first. The proposal seeks a general goal of 17 kids in the early grades and 25 students in grades four through 12. Lower teacher-student ratios would be sought in high-poverty schools.

Goodman says money for the measure has not been identified yet.