RALEIGH, North Carolina (WTVD) — Gasps could be heard around the room Tuesday at a Wake County School Board meeting as members listened to Superintendent James Merrill run down the exact implication of a new state law.

If left unchanged, Merrill said, the WCPSS would have to hire 461 new teachers next year and scrap “specials” classes in Kindergarten through third grade, including art, gym, music, drama, and P.E.. In Wake County, there are 356 specials teachers; only 52 have credentials to teach regular classes.

The law is intended to shrink class sizes starting next year. It requires five teachers for every 100 students, instead of the current four. But as school board members across the state are coming to terms with, that would mean – by definition – more classes and more teachers to fill those extra class rooms.

As Dr. Merrill explained to Wake board members, firing specials teachers may not sit well, but hiring teachers could also be hard.

Gasps around the room as Wake school board members hear possible implications of leaving a current law unchanged. We explain on abc11 @4pic.twitter.com/prl4B782uB

— Jon Camp (@JonCampABC11) April 18, 2017

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