The DOD Education Activity (DODEA) plans to increase average class sizes in its middle and high schools while trimming about 300 positions before the next school year, the agency’s director told staff last week. The agency is not expecting a cut in the fiscal 2020 budget, Director Thomas Brady said. But he noted that a minimal increase in class sizes offers the potential to “gain efficiencies and better align staffing,” reports Stars and Stripes. The agency did not say how many of the “300 excess positions” are teachers.
Class sizes throughout DODEA schools vary widely, from more than 30 students to fewer than 10. About 8,700 educators serve more than 70,000 students in the military school system. The average class size for middle and high schools from the top nine states with military-connected students is 25.5 students, DODEA said.
Chuck McCarter, president of the Federal Education Association, the union representing DODEA educators, criticized the plan. “Any cut to school-level staffing that will result in an increase to class sizes is a disservice to DODEA students and military families,” McCarter said.
Photo by Sgt. Maryam Treece