Thursday, February 18, 2010

Media Advisory -- New State Legislation Means $20 Million for SDUSD K-3 Classrooms

Media Advisory from San Diego Unified, February 18, 2010

New State Legislation Means $20 Million For San Diego Unified K-3 Classrooms

News conference featuring State Assemblymembers Marty Block (D-78th) and Nathan Fletcher (R-75) who have just introduced a new bill offering relief from class size reduction penalties for elementary grades K-3.

When: Friday, February 19, 11 a.m.

Where: Language Academy, Library, 4961 64th St. (92115), Tel: (619) 287-1182

Maintaining current class size tops the list of priorities for San Diego Unified’s Board of Education. A new bill, AB 2272, just introduced by local Assemblymembers Marty Block and Nathan Fletcher supports this goal. The bill is co-authored by two other local Assembly Members, Lori SaldaƱa and Mary Salas. The San Diego Unified School District (SDUSD) is the sponsor of the bill.

AB 2272 is the only legislation being introduced this year to curb severe overcrowding in K-3 classroom and in this manner, preserves the academic achievement of California’s youngest students. Specifically, the bill rolls back counterproductive class size reduction program penalties that are incurred when districts are forced to increase K-3 class sizes to compensate for severe state funding cuts. As a result of these penalties, school districts like SDUSD must increase class sizes to higher levels than would otherwise be necessary.

Under the pressure of state budget cuts, SDUSD increased class sizes in K-3 this year to 24:1. If the district had been able to keep all of its penalty money, it could have kept its classes at 22:1. Over the next two years, AB 2272 would provide San Diego Unified with additional revenue of more than $20 million that can be used to maintain current K-3 teacher to student ratios.

At Language Academy, the district’s French and Spanish immersion magnet school, K-3 classrooms average 24 students per class.

Assemblymember Marty Block, Assemblymember Nathan Fletcher and Board President Richard Barrera.

Assemblymember Marty Block, Assemblymember Nathan Fletcher, School Board President Richard Barrera, Parents, Teachers, Language Academy Principal Veronika Lopez-Mendez

Bernie Rhinerson, Chief District Relations Officer, (619) 725-5567 (desk), (619) 300-7015 (cell) or