Local teachers look forward to smaller class sizes

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Georgia parents can expect to see smaller class sizes when school starts again in August.

Governor Sonny Perdue signed HB 1358, his "Truth in Class Size Act", Wednesday.

Now teachers are weighing in on how these reduced classes will benefit them and the students.

Tarynn Josey teaches first grade at Bel Air Elementary.

"I have had 22 here at Bel Air, and it is extreme. Five children, it makes a world of difference," Josey says.

Now Josey has 17 children in class, and she says spending one-on-one time with her students is essential.

"Having less children, it's easier for us to get to them," she says.

In 28 years of teaching, Debbie Callan has had as many as 28 students in one class.

This school year she has 18 students...the lowest number ever.

"Now we are constantly walking around and meeting with every child," Callan says.

And that's the kind of interaction Georgia governor Sonny Perdue likes.

He signed the Truth In Class Size bill yesterday, trimming first through third grade classes from 23 students to 21, and fourth through eighth grade classes from 32 to 28.

Teachers like Debbie Callan and Tarynn Josey say this will make a big difference, allowing children more time with instructional programs.

"Having time to assess them and sit one on one with them is essential for them to grow," Josey says.

"I can honestly tell you as a teacher I am putting in more and more hours daily because I am trying to meet the needs of every individual student," says Callan.

Some administrators are concerned that trimming class size will force them to add more portable classrooms in order to provide more classes.