Class size hike spells trouble Impact of increase to 34 in K-8 will be negative

Alan Borsuk:

There are people who have been making a splash nationally by spreading word that judgment day will be May 21, and by fall, the earth will no longer exist.
If so, we don’t need to be so alarmed about the future of Milwaukee Public Schools. Or a list of other school districts that aren’t in quite as bad shape. Yet.
But in case we remain in this vale of tears a bit longer, let’s talk about what is expected to happen to class sizes in MPS. This won’t be pleasant.
MPS Superintendent Gregory Thornton used a number last week in a talk before civic leaders and, later, in comments to the School Board: 34. That’s going to be the average class size next year, he said.
For kindergarten through 12th grade? No, he told me, for kindergarten through eighth grade. There’s no estimate for high schools yet, he said. (As a general matter, high school classes are larger than younger grades.)
“Class sizes will increase,” Thornton said. “That’s just a reality. . . . This is a community that needs learning to be personalized and customized.” In other words, it needs at least reasonable class sizes.
So 34 compared to what this year? Thornton estimated 28 to 29.