AUSTIN, Texas - More than 1,200 schools across Texas have been granted a state exemption that allows them to exceed limits on class sizes.
The Texas Education Agency allowed 1,272 elementary schools to exceed the 22-pupil limit in kindergarten through fourth grade. The Dallas Morning News reports that most of the schools cited "financial hardship" or "unanticipated growth" in requesting a waiver.
Most school districts in Texas boosted class sizes across all grade levels over the last three years, but they're not required to receive the state's permission to put more students in grades five through 12.
School officials say a $5.4 billion cut in education spending approved by lawmakers in 2011 caused educators to increase class sizes as a cost-saving measure.
Lawmakers restored $3.4 billion in 2013.