Spokane, Wash. -

Larger classrooms and fewer teachers are the future of the Spokane Public School District as the Board of Directors votes to increase class size to address a major budget crisis.

 

Late Wednesday night, the board voted four to one to increase class sizes by up to three students per classroom.

 

Board member Dr. Jeff Bierman voted against the proposal. 

 

The decision makes way for the school district to determine how many teacher lay off notices it will send out and of those how many teachers it can re-hire or move to other departments.

 

By law, teacher lay off notices must be in the mail by May 15th.

 

With a looming state budget deficit still to be worked out in Olympia, the school district anticipates it will need to reduce its budget between $9 and $12 million dollars for the 2011-2012 school year.

 

Increasing class sizes could cut at least $5 million dollars from the budget.  More cuts will be addressed and finalized in the next few months.

 

Jenny Rose, President of the Spokane Education Association said the decision is disappointing.

 

"Who wants to go into the world of education if everywhere you turn around you have something cut? You have your curriculum cut, you have your class size increased," said Jenny Rose, President of SEA.

 

Board members said Wednesday night's decision was a difficult one to make.