Logan School District wants bond to ease class overcrowding

Published: Tuesday, Feb. 26 2013 4:47 p.m. MST

Logan School District is dealing with overcrowding at Logan High School. It wants to put a bond and levy to help pay for improvements to the school and to improve overcrowding. In Logan, Feb. 25, 2013.

Mike Anderson, Deseret News

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LOGAN — Logan High School is seeing class sizes at levels it hasn’t seen in the past, with some classes having 50, even 60 students.

The problem: not enough teachers.

The Logan School Board is looking to put a bond and a levy on the ballot, but that money, if approved, wouldn’t be available until 2015.

Bill Emmett teaches Advanced Placement English at Logan High. He has more than 200 students and his largest classes seat more than 50 students.

"(The) problem becomes, of course, the more students you have in terms of total load, the more papers you have to correct, the more time you need to devote to the grading of papers,” Emmett said.

Having so many students in class means teachers may not have the time to give individual attention to every student.

"We're coping with a bad situation the very best that we can,” said Principal Shane Ogden.

On top of that, the school is old. The original building dates back to the early 1870s. Some classrooms were once part of an elementary school, which means the classrooms are actually small.

"We’ve got some classrooms that even if we could manage teaching 52 kids, the classroom itself won't hold them,” Ogden said.

Administrators say the problem started when the economy made a downturn a few years ago. “We did a reduction in staff two years ago when we were at the height of the financial crisis," Logan School District Superintendent Marshal Garrett said. But the school population didn’t change much, so each teacher has 180 students enrolled in their classes.

The Logan School District is hoping to fix overcrowding by asking taxpayers for $900,000 in a levy vote this November. Even then, however, the money wouldn't become available until the 2015 school year. It also plans to add a $40 million to $55 million bond to the November ballot, with about $35 million going toward updating Logan High School classrooms.

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