Worsening budget conditions are pressing school officials in the Washington, D.C., area and across the country to consider backing away from what has become a mantra of education: Kids learn best in smaller classes, reports the Washington Post. Area school systems are moving into the difficult part of their budget seasons, and many say trimming spending by increasing class size is a real possibility. Montgomery County, Md., seems to have avoided the prospect this week, when teachers agreed to give up a 5-percent raise to help the school system save tens of millions of dollars. But elsewhere, school officials say they will have to get by with fewer teachers to find such savings. In Fairfax County, Va., the region’s other premier public school system, bleak fiscal forecasts point to a potential increase of as many as two-and-a-half children a class next school year–a bump of more than 10 percent in elementary classrooms. That would come on top of a half-student per class increase in September. Larger classes are also being considered in Loudoun and Prince George’s counties…

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