Today’s story about Fremont Unified discusses the school board’s tentative plans to cut $21.6 million from the 2009-10 budget.
I need to correct an error in the story. It said that the district has 26 counselors this year when in fact there are 34.5 counseling positions. The board will hold a special meeting at 5:30 p.m. Monday at City Hall to consider eliminating 12.5 of those positions next year and to receive a budget update.
I also received an e-mail from a parent this morning asking if class sizes will increase for grades 1-3, since that was not mentioned in the article.
School board members Ivy Wu and Lily Mei initially said they supported increasing class sizes in grades 1-3 since the board approved class-size increases for all the other grade levels. They felt it was an equity issue. But there’s some issue with funding, where a district could pack more students into a room in grades 1-3 and still receive state money for class-size reduction while paying a penalty. I don’t understand the funding issue enough to explain it at this point. I believe Trustee Mei wants more information from district staff about the impacts of increasing classes in grades 1-3 to 21 students, but she hasn’t recommended out right that the district make this change.
To recap: the board has not voted to increase 1-3 class sizes. Also note: even though the board approved it, a class-size increase in grades 4-6 would need to be negotiated with the teachers union before it becomes a done deal.