Reducing Class Size: Budgetary and Educational Implications
Author: Nachum Blass
March 19, 2008
The study was conducted following the agreement that ended the lengthy teacher’s strike of the secondary school system.
In this agreement, the government committed itself to working to reduce class size to a maximum of 32 students. The research has two levels: one level examines the expected advantages and disadvantages of fulfilling the commitment. This includes a discussion of the educational advantages of small classes and in particular the ability to give students attention according to their needs, the opportunity to raise student achievement and the chance to improve the atmosphere in the schools. The second level presents the results of a simulation experiment in which the details of the resources required to fulfill this commitment are examined. The results are examined in terms of the money and manpower required at each educational level. It was found that the total costs would be somewhere between NIS 5.7 and 9.3 billion not including the one-time expenses of building and training the new teachers that will be needed. It was also estimated that some 17,000 new teachers and 7,500 classrooms will be necessary to implement the class size reduction.
This paper is available in Hebrew only.