First-grade students in Utah schools will find classes a bit less crowded if SB141 continues to gain legislators' favor. The bill would provide $4 million specifically for reducing the student/teacher ratios in the first grade, or in other areas of particular stress if a school has no problem at that level.

The bill, passed out favorably by the Senate Education Committee, would reduce the number of students in each class by an average of three. Schools that don't have class space to accommodate more classes would have the option of hiring para-professionals, including teacher aides, or using other strategies to lessen the load on a single teacher.Both the governor's and legislative analyst have incorporated the $4 million in their recommended budgets. Over succeeding years, the intent is to continue the effort in succeeding grades at schools as money is available, until an overall class-size reduction is accomplished.

Utah schools have the largest average class size in the nation.