LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Three days after unveiling a new JCPS budgeting process proposal -- and the potential of increasing class sizes -- the district's chief business officer says the school system will "not reduce the number of classroom teaching positions."

In a statement sent to WDRB late Thursday, Tom Hudson said he wanted to "assure parents and the community that the new JCPS budgeting process is about ensuring that every school has the resources and support it needs to help every student succeed."

"Our commitment to the community is to do this in a way that will not reduce the number of classroom teaching positions," he said.

The proposal, discussed during a 2016-17 draft budget work session with the Jefferson County Board of Education on Monday, could potentially shift approximately 280 teachers and mean more students in 4-12th grade classrooms across the district, Hudson said.

"It's about $17.5 million that will be available for us to use on other things," he told board members. "We are taking these teachers and re-purposing them in a way that is more effective than just using the standard allocation."

Several teachers have contacted WDRB since the proposal was unveiled, which stated that class sizes would remain capped at one teacher per 24 students in grades K-3, but it could increase across all other grades:

  • 4th grade would increase from 24-1 to 28-1 
  • 5th grade would increase from 24-1 to 29-1
  • 6th grade would increase from  28-1 to 29-1
  • 7th-12th grades would increase from 28-1 to 31-1

"I've been teaching fourth grade for 10 years and I have never had as few as 24 students," said one teacher. "I've had as many as 28 or 29 students each year."

A retired JCPS principal said changing the funding formula that the district has used for years will likely mean schools will lose funds allotted that were "sold back" to the district to use for other things, like paying an art or computer teacher.

"The numbers they are showing are the state law," the retired principal said. "They've always assigned 28 students in fourth grade and 29 students in fifth grade."

Reporter Antoinette Konz can be reached at 585-0838 or @tkonz on Twitter.

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