The Rhode Island Senate has passed two measures; one would cap the size of classes in grades K through 2 at 20.
Another would make the right to an education a constitutionally protected right.
“There are so many benefits to keeping class sizes from becoming too large in the early grades, and they are not limited to the years students are in those classes. Children who begin school in smaller classes have higher achievements throughout their academic careers, including higher graduation rates and better college entrance exam grades. Those students also have better attendance and even better health, motivation and self-esteem,” said Senator Gallo (D-Dist. 27, Cranston, West Warwick). “Children flourish when they get off to a strong start at school, and one of the most critical factors is being in a class that is small enough for the teacher to provide each student with the individual attention they need at that stage. Committing to small classes is committing to better education for all.”
The Senate passage of a resolution that would make the right to education protected under the constitution would allow voters to go to the polls to vote on a constitutional amendment on the issue.
Senator Roger Picard of Woonsocket was that bill’s chief author.
“The state constitution is the highest law in the state, and the statement of our dearest values. Public education is one of the most important duties of American government, upon which the success of not only individuals, but also communities, states and the nation hinges. We should make a very firm commitment to providing genuine educational opportunities for every single child, regardless of their circumstances or their Zip code,” said Senator Picard.
Both bills passed the Senate last year but failed to garner enough support in the House.
(Photo by OLIVIER TOURON/AFP via Getty Images)