Wednesday, May 22, 2013

FAQ #3: Isn't the Pleasanton school district planning on restoring K-3 class size ratios of 20:1 in 2014-15? Why the continued push for CSR next year?

The school board has indeed announced plans to restore K-3 class size ratios of 20:1 in 2014-15. These plans are based on the assumption that the district will no longer have "flexibility" to use state CSR funds for other purposes. (This flexibility to repurpose CSR funds was granted by the state in 2009 because of the CA state budget crisis; this flexibility is set to expire in 2014.) However, if the state issues new guidelines that extend this flexibility (which is extremely likely), I believe that the district will reverse these plans and will not restore 20:1 class size ratios in 2014-15.

We need to continue communicating our displeasure regarding class size ratios of 30:1 for K-3. At the 5/14 board meeting, Trustee Jeff Bowser said that no parents showed up at last year's board meeeting when the trustees voted to increase elementary class sizes to 30, giving trustees the mistaken impression that elementary parents did not care about CSR.

In fact, the news spread behind the scenes last year was that 30:1 class size ratios were a done deal for K-3 and that no amount of advocacy would change this decision. In hindsight, we probably should have turned up at those meetings anyways (and I have heard, contrary to Trustee Bowers's statement, that some parents did go to those meetings--thank you to those parents!) Perhaps we could have made a difference last year if more of us had shown up. In any case, we are learning from the past, and we have learned that we can make a difference. Please help us to continue in this CSR advocacy effort!

Perhaps we should also ask the school board point-blank if they will hold to their plans of restoring 20:1 class size ratios if the state renews the flexibility to repurpose CSR funds. Perhaps this added accountability will make a difference as well. (For the record, I would be over the moon if the school district actually carries out its plans to restore 20:1 class size ratios in 2014-15 and subsequent years. May it be so!)

No comments:

Post a Comment