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Elementary class size reduction is a big deal

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POSTED April 26, 2009 2:01 a.m.
Editor, Manteca Bulletin,
This letter is in response to a letter by Del Pedroni, printed in the Manteca Bulletin on April 25, 2009.  The letter addresses concerns that Del Pedroni has with negotiations between the Manteca Unified School District and teachers.

 I respect the concerns he has with regards to the loss of classes, staffing and services at the high school level.  Where I take exception is in the line from his letter, and I quote, “First of all class size reduction does not mean the same thing at the elementary level as it does to the high school level.  In the elementary level it might mean increasing the size of classes by a couple of students.”  This is completely incorrect!  In the kindergarten through third grade level, it means increasing the class size from 20 to 32 children, not 1 or 2.  This is a 60% increase of students per class.  The intermediate grades 4 – 8, which currently do not have class size reduction, can also increase by 1-2 students.  Personally, I think ANY increase to our already overcrowded classrooms is unacceptable! Are we getting 60% more supply money? Are we getting  60% more assistance in teaching these students?  Absolutely not!  

What concerns me is, with all due respect to Mr. Pedroni, the “no big deal” attitude toward the elimination of class size reduction in the elementary schools.  I want to make sure that our parents and the general public are aware that it IS a big deal.  I am a parent of elementary school students and I am an elementary teacher.  As any parent should be, I am deeply concerned with the level of education my children will receive and that I am providing to my students.
 
The intent of this letter is not to pit elementary schools against high schools.  We need to work together. Let’s remember, eliminating class size reduction at the elementary level will eventually impact the students’ performance at the high school level. We all have our concerns, but, ultimately want the same outcome – what is best for our children!  The Manteca Unified School Board is voting on Tuesday, April 28, on the issue of class size reduction.  I implore you to make your voices heard by attending the meeting or contacting your elected school board member to address your concerns.  Thank you for your time and consideration.
Kathleen Maki
Parent and Teacher
Manteca
April 25, 2009
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