NASHVILLE — The Tennessee Democratic Party launched Wednesday an online petition drive opposing Governor Bill Haslam’s proposal to eliminate average class size requirements at public schools. Chairman Chip Forrester released this statement to accompany the petition:
“Parents and teachers know first hand what difference small class sizes make in improving student learning. It’s common sense; the fewer students in a classroom, the more time a teacher can spend with each individual student.
“If our goal is to improve student learning, Governor Haslam’s plan to increase class sizes is the wrong way to go. It’s a bad idea that shortchanges our kids’ future.
“We can’t afford to settle for anything but the best in Tennessee’s classrooms because the countries our kids will be competing with for the jobs of the 21st century — China, Japan, India — aren’t settling either.
“In tough economic times, education is an easy target for cuts, but nothing could be more short-sighted. When parents are stressed at home because they’ve lost a job, children need more strong, effective teachers, not less. When jobs are scarce, there’s no better time for young people to get that degree or for workers who’ve been laid off to go back and re-train.
“It’s time to recommit to our kids, our workers, and our future by making sure Tennessee has the best educated children in the nation.”
The Tennessee Democratic Party will deliver the petition and comments to the governor’s office in the coming days.