Smaller class sizes not proven but teachers strike for them

Smaller class sizes not proven but teachers strike for them
Educators rally as a strike against the Los Angeles Unified School District entered its fifth day outside City Hall in Los Angeles Friday, Jan. 18, 2019. Clashes over pay, class sizes and support-staff levels in the district led to its first strike in 30 years and prompted the staffing of classrooms with substitute teachers and administrators. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Most educators and parents see class size as an indicator of a quality education and have made it a priority in teacher strikes across the United States, but its effectiveness is still up for debate.

There’s no universal standard for class sizes, though some states and school districts have instituted policies.

While many believe smaller is better, studies are mixed on exactly how much it can improve academic outcomes, considering the cost.

The issue is at the heart of a Los Angeles teacher strike in the nation’s second-largest school district.

The union’s demanding the elimination of a longstanding contract clause that gives the school district broad authority over class sizes.

District officials say they need the power to raise class sizes under certain conditions, including a financial emergency.