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Smaller Classes Haven´t Helped Students

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The state´s largest teachers´ union is opposing two plans that would ease limits on class size reduction programs.

The proposals would let schools or districts average 20 students per class, with a maximum of 22 students in each classroom. Now, the voluntary state maximum is 20 students per class for kindergarten through third grade. The state gives money to schools that meet the limit. Though the program is popular, it´s expensive. Studies say it hasn´t yet produced higher student achievement.

Many schools are considering eliminating the programs because of the state´s budget crisis.

The California Association of School Business Officials says more flexibility would let districts keep the programs. But the California Teachers Association says relaxing the limit will erode the standards.