Elementary students take over senator’s office to push for more funding

State Sen. Chad Barefoot, a Wake County Republican, had his office flooded with Durham elementary school kids on Wednesday, according to an article from the Raleigh News & Observer. Malcolm Goff, an art teacher at E.K. Powe Elementary School in Durham, spoke with legislative staffers about his desire to have the state increase per-pupil spending. He also held a classroom-style lesson inside Barefoot’s office with third graders. In a video, Goff asked a Barefoot staffer if the senator would be available to meet with him. The staffer replied Barefoot is in a meeting and unable to immediately talk.

House Bill 13 was signed into law last week to reduced kindergarten through third-grade class sizes from 24 students to between 19 and 21 students. After school districts complained that meeting the new class-size limits took away their flexibility to fund elementary school arts and physical education classes, the Senate modified the bill to delay the class-size changes to the 2018-19 school year. Senate leaders have pledged to consider funding arts but did not include a funding guarantee in the bill.