I’d like to review class size reduction, which is keeping class sizes at 20 in grades kindergarten through third grade.
As I have mentioned previously, most surrounding districts are keeping it. Manteca Unified, on the other hand, is taking the money and running. We are balancing our budget on the backs of the students and the teachers. Let’s look at those numbers. Manteca Unified is receiving nearly $3.5 million from the state for class size reduction in grades K-3 even though the district eliminated class size reduction. Yes, you read that right. We eliminated it and we still get paid for it. Not only that, if we had kept class sizes in grades K-3 at 20-1, it would have cost the district $7.9 million. Not only that, the district would have received $7.5 million from the state to help pay for it, leaving only $400,000 for the district to pay to keep small class sizes in grades K-3.
Now, class sizes are at 32 in grades K-3. It gets worse. Due to the fiscal crisis, the state has given each school district in California permission to not purchase any textbooks until 2013. However, the school board at the July 28 board meeting approved spending $250,000 on new high school math textbooks. This quarter of a million dollars was left over from last year. This $250,000 would have taken care of most of the $400,000 to keep class sizes low in grades K-3.
Do you believe that kids come before books? If so, I invite you to stand up for our schools. I ask you to stand with me to take back our schools. I’m not asking for money. I’m asking for your time, your effort, and your energy to do what’s right, to take back our schools and stop these anti-children actions by our school district. What can you do? Go to www.mantecateachers.com and click the link that says Stand Up for Schools. You will be taken to a new page so we can organize everyone that wants to be involved in Standing up for Schools. The next school board election is only a year away, and we need to organize now so that we can take back our schools. Also, at this link, I will provide more information about our schools that I am sure you will be interested in.
Manteca Educators Association