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Here is a rundown of the state's goals driven by the Supreme Court's McCleary decision:
- Reducing the Teacher to student ratios in grades K-3, an age in which experts say fundamental learning needs to take place to produce results rippling into the higher grades. Right now the the ratio is 25.23 students per teacher in those grades. The 2011-13 budget calls for reducing that ratio to 24.1-to-1. The McCleary ruling orders that ratio to be reduced to 17 students in grades K-3 by 2017-2018.
- Poverty-level schools getting priority in that class-size reduction, with "poverty" defined as more than 50 percent of a school's students participate in the free or reduced-price lunch program.
- Washington's current minimum number of credits to graduate high school will be gradually increase from 20 to 24. Right now, school districts have different numbers of credits to graduate, with the state average being 22. Increased costs will be tied to what extra courses are added.
- The amount of instruction in grades 7-12 is supposed to reach 1,080 hours a year per student no sooner than 2014-2015. The state Office of Financial Management believes the state average now is roughly 1,000 instructional hours per student per school year.
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