Lake Stevens Journal: EDUCATION: Murray Introduces Major Legislation to Lower Class Size, Improve Education

(Washington, D.C.) – Today, U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) introduced the Facilitating Outstanding Classrooms Using Size Reduction (FOCUS) Act of 2009, which would provide states with the resources they need to reduce class sizes across the early grade levels in order to provide students and teachers with an educational environment that encourages maximum student academic growth. Murray’s bill will also put in place evaluation tools to assess the program’s effectiveness.

“As a mother and former teacher, I have seen first-hand how much better students learn when they are in classes small enough for them to get the personal attention they deserve,” said Senator Patty Murray. “The FOCUS Act will provide school districts with the resources they need to reduce class sizes, recruit qualified teachers, and offer students the educational environment they need to learn and succeed.”

Specifically, the FOCUS Act would:

Create a grant program to reduce class sizes to 18 students in Kindergarten through third grade and beyond. States would receive funding to allocate to local educational agencies to hire new qualified teachers and to create a continuum of small classes for students in the early grades.

Create a separate authorization for Class Size Reduction efforts to prevent them from competing with teacher professional development and training funds in Title II of NCLB.