Classrooms in the Bismarck Public School District have been growing more crowded, and now the Bismarck School Board has committed to addressing the problem.

At a board meeting Monday night, members of the school came to an agreement to hire roughly 28 full-time teaching and staff positions for the 2019-20 school year. The number of hires came from a recommendation following a district wide assessment. The assessment also indicated there will a need to hire 50.5 positions over two years.

"This board action will help reduce class sizes at the secondary and elementary level, reduce caseloads in special education and provide support to improve student achievement," the district stated in a press release.

The total cost of these hires has yet to be determined. Superintendent Jason Hornbacher said the cost would be discussed later this year when the school board finalizes the district's budget for the coming year.

When the district hired 20 additional teaching positions last April, the Bismarck Tribune reported the cost was around $1.4 million.

In addition to overcrowding in classrooms affecting one-on-one time between teachers and students, board members said they believe other district issues — issues like mental health, bullying, and classroom safety— are only made worse from larger class sizes.

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