I keep reading about the Lawrence school district’s student-teacher ratio going up by one. What’s the ratio?
Chief operations officer Frank Harwood said that next year’s student-teacher ratios are projected to be either 23-to-1, 24-to-1 or 25-to-1 at the elementary schools, depending on how many students in the school qualify for free- and reduced-price lunches. Central Junior High’s staffing ratio will be 18.6-to-1, and the ratio will be 19-to-1 at the other three junior high schools. The staffing ratio at the two high schools will increase to 21.2-to-1. This doesn’t necessarily mean each class in the schools will have that number of students. The district uses the ratio to allocate the number of teaching positions among schools, Harwood said. For example, Prairie Park School is projected to have 425 students next year. With a 25-to-1 staffing ratio, the school would then get 17 full-time teaching positions because 425 divided by 25 is 17. The district also maintains a certain number of extra teaching positions, known as contingency teachers, across the district to handle class sizes if a certain grade gets too large.