62657-1:e:01/23/2004:KMS/th LRS2004-387




SB17
By Senator Smitherman
RFD Education
Rd 1 01-FEB-05


SYNOPSIS:Existing law does not limit the number of students per teacher in kindergarten to twelfth grade classrooms.
 This bill would propose an amendment to the Constitution of Alabama of 1901, to require that, beginning with the 2011 school year, class size limits be maintained at 18 students per teacher for grades kindergarten to third, inclusive, at 22 students per teacher for grades four to eight, inclusive, and at 25 students per teacher for grades nine to 12, inclusive. Such limits would be implemented on a graduated basis beginning with the 2006-2007 fiscal year.
 This bill would also provide that any costs associated with satisfying the class size limitations imposed by this proposed constitutional amendment would be the responsibility of the state and not the local school systems.

A BILL
TO BE ENTITLED
AN ACT

Relating to public education; proposing an amendment to the Constitution of Alabama of 1901; to establish class size limits in grades kindergarten to 12, inclusive, beginning with the 2011 school year, to be phased in beginning with the 2006-2007 fiscal year; and to provide that any costs associated with satisfying the limits be the responsibility of the state.

BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF ALABAMA:

Section 1. The following amendment to the Constitution of Alabama of 1901, as amended, is proposed and shall become valid as a part thereof when approved by a majority of the qualified electors voting thereon and in accordance with Sections 284, 285, and 287 of the Constitution of Alabama of 1901, as amended:

PROPOSED AMENDMENT

(a) To assure that children attending public school obtain a high quality education, the Legislature shall make adequate provision to ensure that, by the beginning of the 2011 school year, there are a sufficient number of classrooms so that:

(1) The maximum number of students who are assigned to each teacher who is teaching in public school classrooms for prekindergarten to grade 3, inclusive, does not exceed 18 students.

(2) The maximum number of students who are assigned to each teacher who is teaching in public school classrooms for grades 4 to 8, inclusive, does not exceed 22 students.

(3) The maximum number of students who are assigned to each teacher who is teaching in public school classrooms for grades 9 to 12, inclusive, does not exceed 25 students.

(b) The class size requirements of this amendment do not apply to extracurricular classes.

(c) Payment of the costs associated with reducing class size to meet the requirements of this amendment is the responsibility of the state and not of local school systems. Beginning with the 2006-2007 fiscal year, the Legislature shall provide sufficient funds to reduce the average number of students in each classroom by at least two students per year until the maximum number of students per classroom does not exceed the requirements of this amendment.

Section 2. An election upon the proposed amendment shall be held in accordance with Sections 284 and 285 of the Constitution of Alabama of 1901, as amended, and the election laws of this state.

Section 3. The appropriate election official shall assign a ballot number for the proposed constitutional amendment on the election ballot and shall set forth the following description of the substance or subject matter of the proposed constitutional amendment:

"Proposing an amendment to the Constitution of Alabama of 1901, to phase in a requirement that, beginning with the 2011 school year, class size limits be maintained at 18 students per teacher for grades kindergarten to third, inclusive, at 22 students per teacher for grades four to eight, inclusive, and at 25 students per teacher for grades nine to 12, inclusive, and to provide that the state is responsible for any costs associated with limiting class size.

"Proposed by Act ________."

This description shall be followed by the following language:

"Yes ( ) No ( )."


Constitutional Amendments
Elections
Education
Schools
Students
Teachers