We work in many states and South Carolina has two things that make analyzing teacher shortages easier – Paul Bowers form the Post and Courier and CERRA – this time reporting on classroom size limits. We first heard of this problem when we were working to get our program accepted in the state when the head of the one of the teacher’s unions told us – “We need more teachers now. Our teachers are so tired of rising class sizes that we need help.”
Apparently South Carolina stopped enforcing class size limits back in 2010 due to financial pressures and have never tried to go back.
The main statistic – the number of classrooms that have over 28 students per teacher doubled from 60 to 110. Most were in high school – which is bad but not as bad as those in elementary which have also started to increase.
State Education Superintendent Molly Spearman knows that the class size issue cannot be resolved without additional teachers. We agree and are working hard to help. CERRA just came out with the supply and demand report for the 2018-2019 school year which should have some data to show if things are improving.
Until they do – rising class sizes set up worsening conditions driving more teachers away from teaching. Meaning class sizes continue to grow and more teachers leave. We have to break the cycle to ensure every child has the teacher they need.