"The only thing more expensive than education is ignorance."What the Deseret News seems to have forgotten though is that the state spent over $700 million over a decade for the sole purpose of reducing class sizes, and netted a whole two teachers for the effort.
Two years ago the state conducted an audit of their class size reduction (CSR) program. It was this audit that revealed the two net teacher gain despite hundreds of millions of dollars. I wrote about this audit here, here, and here.
The reason for such a poor return on investment is that the number of children entering school increased by far more than was expected. The problem with the Deseret News's argument about cost is that the child increase is expected to continue - so much so that the state will be fortunate just to keep the unacceptable class sizes we have now, let alone reduce them. In fact, the Utah Taxpayers Association put numbers to the traditional class size goal of 15 students, and found it would cost almost $5 billion to reach it.
Reducing class sizes is a worthy goal, but it's important to understand the reality behind the numbers. Editorial boards like the News would do well to remember the lessons learned from audits like the one conducted just two years ago, and use those lessons to shape their policy proclamations.