I'm a mom of two girls, a kindergartener and a 3rd grader at Walnut Grove Elementary School. My husband and I purchased a house in Pleasanton in 2003, largely because of the wonderful community and the stellar school system.
We were sad that our older daughter entered kindergarten at the time of the California budget crisis, and K-3 class size ratios rose from 20:1 to 25:1. We were even more dismayed this past year when the class size ratios rose even higher to 30:1. I have observed firsthand the difference made by adding five more students to the lower elementary grade classes.
I am a supporter of the Pleasanton schools, and my friends and I are working together to advocate for the restoration of elementary class size reduction (CSR). In an ideal world, we would love for class size ratios to return to the pre-2009 levels of 20:1, but for now, we are simply asking for them to return to 25:1.
I was excited when the Pleasanton school board voted on May 14 to restore 1st grade class sizes to 25:1 for 2013-14. This was the culmination of much fundraising work by Pleasanton Partnerships in Education, and the school board unanimously voted to meet the funding gap.
After the school board's vote, I was tempted to end my advocacy for CSR. However, I have received multiple requests to join my email list, have been informed that parents at other school sites were unaware of our CSR advocacy efforts, and have been asked repeatedly whether there is any possibility to reduce class sizes in other elementary grades for the coming school year.
I began to wonder if we could work together to accomplish even more. Three school board meetings (5/28, 6/4, and 6/18) remain in this school year, so we have three more opportunities to advocate for elementary CSR for the fall.
To this end, I have started a fundraising pledge campaign for 2nd grade CSR for the upcoming 2013-14 school year. Please join me in this effort, and invite your family and friends to join as well.