Tuesday, March 9, 2010

CA Budget Crisis Eliminates Class Size Reduction

Teachers will be giving more than ever next year. According to Rick LaPlant, New Haven Unified School District's Public Information Officer, the school board was forced because of the ongoing state financial crisis to make another round of drastic budget cuts.

The Board approved staff recommendations totaling $3.6 million in new reductions for 2010-11, on top of $1.6 million in reductions previously approved for next year. As a result, class sizes will be larger in kindergarten through third grade in 2010-11, and the District no longer will offer transportation for elementary and middle school students.

The Board approved a recommendation to eliminate four assistant principal positions at the elementary schools, a reduction previously forecast for 2011-12. Starting in 2010-11, there no longer will be assistant principals at Alvarado, Eastin, Emanuele, and Pioneer elementary schools.

This will be a hardship for teachers and students. Many young dedicated creative teachers will lose their positions at a time with jobs are increasingly difficult to obtain. Students in grades K-3 will now have 25 students in their class instead of 20. Those students with home and learning problems will find it more difficult to get the personalized attention they need to be academically successful. Many lower grade teachers who came in with the triads in 1995 for the beginning of class size reduction have never had 25 students at one time. This number of students changes the entire atmosphere of the classroom. Teachers will learn new ways to get the most out of their academic time with students. Teachers in these large schools, as much as 850 children, will have to handle many more disciplinary problems.

One huge role of the assistant principals has been problem solving student's major behavior and lifestyle issues. Assistant principals also keep track of truant students and those who are habitually late for school. They supervise CELDT which is the California English Language Development Test. CELDT testing is required in the state of California. The test is given to students who's home language is not English.

So everyone will be giving more. How much more can teachers and principals can give? Everyone was already giving their all. Are teachers and principals going the way of the tree in The Giving Tree, as a stump, with nothing more to give?

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