Haslam touts class size proposal: Faculty in Lenoir City don't support it

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- Gov. Bill Haslam acknowledges that his class size proposal has been met with "mixed reviews" but insists it would allow schools to fill high-priority teaching positions.

Lenoir City administrators are happy the Governor's plan to put more students in each classroom is now in limbo.

Julie Duff has been teaching Language Arts to fifth graders for 16 years.

"In order to be successful in the classroom we need to be able to know our students, and it's hard to get to know the students when you have such a large number in the class."

Right now, Duff teaches 100 kids a day over five classes. If Governor Haslam's proposal goes through that number would nearly double. She'd be teaching about 175 students a day.

"Reading 100 essays every week can be overbearing there's not enough time to spend on each paper and to conference with each child it's hard to conference with each child as far as their reading level," said Duff.

The Governor says he drafted the plan to allow schools larger classes and fewer teachers. Meaning more money would be available to pay more to teachers in high-priority subjects. A plan Principal Chip Orr has opposed from the beginning.

"There are certain things teachers can do when they have a smaller class size that you can't do with more kids in the class," said Orr.

Superintendent Wayne Miller says the public school system has taken several beatings over the years, and because of all of the changes and proposals from Nashville, many teachers have already walked out the door.

"As of the challenges have gotten more and more centered around the political aspects I've had several good teachers that would have continued to teach, retire," said Miller