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Haslam Acknowledges ‘Mixed Reviews’ on Classroom Size Bill

By Erik Schelzig, Associated Press
NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Gov. Bill Haslam acknowledged Thursday that his class size proposal has received with “mixed reviews,” but vowed to press ahead with the measure intended to help schools fill high-priority teaching positions.
The Republican governor said in a speech at a luncheon hosted by The Associated Press and the Tennessee Press Association that his administration is still working to build support for the measure that would do away with average class size restrictions.
“It has been met with mixed reviews — I guess that’s a charitable way to say it,” the governor said in a speech to state editors and publishers.
Under current law, elementary school classes are capped at 25 students, but schools can maintain an average of no more than 20 students per class. Haslam says getting rid of the latter provision would free up money for schools to pay more for teachers in key locations or subjects.
“We think that flexibility is very, very helpful,” he told reporters after his speech. “The answer is not, I agree, to just increase class size to free up more money to do other things. That’s not the right answer.”
House Speaker Beth Harwell, R-Nashville, said the proposal has met with some resistance.

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