News Release from San Diego Unified, February 19, 2010
State Legislation Would Provide Needed Funding
for San Diego Unified Schools
AB 2272 Means An Additional $20 Million For K-3 Classrooms
In a bipartisan show of support for San Diego schools, State Assemblymembers Marty Block (D-78th) and Nathan Fletcher (R-75) have introduced a new bill offering relief from class size reduction penalties for elementary grades K-3. The new bill, AB 2272, is also co-authored by two other local Assembly Members, Lori Saldaña 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.
"Instead of putting our schools in a Catch-22 situation, let's catch $20 million dollars for San Diego Unified and keep the money in the classroom where it belongs," says Assemblymember Block.
This bill helps schools use more of their K-3 class size program money if they keep these classes to no more than 24 students. In exchange for additional funds, school districts would face steeper penalties for classes of more than 24 students. This flexibility would help the San Diego Unified School District keep an additional $6.75 million in the classroom each year, which would equal more than $20 million total through the 2011-12 school year. AB 2272 is the only legislation right now to preserve the academic achievement of California’s youngest students by curbing severe overcrowding in elementary schools.
"In these difficult times, we must protect classroom funding by providing our schools with flexibility to address budget challenges,” states Assemblymember Nathan Fletcher, “This legislation will keep classes small, save local school districts money and give teachers and administrators this needed flexibility.”
For more information, contact Bernie Rhinerson, Chief District Relations Officer, (619) 725-5567 (desk), (619) 300-7015 (cell) or email@example.com.
See the legislation AB 2272 http://www.sandi.net/20451010611403253/lib/20451010611403253/ab2272_factsheet.pdf
AB 2272 Fact Sheet