Schools that get state money to keep their elementary class sizes small are not following the limits about half the time.
That's what University of Wisconsin-Madison researchers discovered when they reviewed the SAGE program.
Almost 500 elementary schools get a total of $110 million to hire enough teachers to keep their classes to 15 students in kindergarten through third grade.
But the UW's Wisconsin Center for Education Research found that 23 percent of SAGE classrooms have 16-17 students.
Fifteen percent achieved the limits only for reading and math classes.
And 12 percent of SAGE classrooms have teacher ratios of 30-2, where nine schools have just one teacher for 30-plus students for up to a quarter of the day.
The UW said schools blamed smaller resources and fluctuating enrollments for the excesses.
They're working on another study that will see how much students benefit from the class-reduction effort.