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Class Size Increases Off CUSD Agenda; Parents Still Get Protests In

The district failed to label Wednesday night's agenda item as a public hearing, so the item is postponed.

Plans to ask the state for in the beyond allowable maximums were temporarily placed on hold Wednesday night.

Although the district advertised the matter as a public hearing, the agenda for the Board of Trustee meeting failed to list it as such.

"The board can’t take action on that item tonight. I’m sorry for that mistake," Superintendent Joseph Farley told the board.

Julie Hatchel, assistant superintendent of education services, called the mislabeled agenda an oversight.

The board was scheduled to hear an item that would have allowed the district to increase class sizes in kindergarten through third grade without facing financial penalties from the state.

Class sizes are already at the maximum level the state allows. So the district must ask for a waiver to increase class sizes.

Under the waiver, CUSD proposes to boost kindergarten classes on average from the current 31 students to 33, according to the application the district will send if the idea is approved by the board at its next meeting.

Class sizes in grades one to three would increase, on average, from 30 to 33.

Despite the agenda snafu, two parents decided to speak out just the same, addressing the trustees during the public comments portion of the evening.

"Sometimes it feels that the students don’t matter," parent Anna Swartz said.

Swartz said current actions the board has taken -- including -- have contributed to fiscal woes across the state. 

She recommended CUSD salaries be decreased across the board, just as her friends in the private sector have seen their pay reduced, some as much by two-thirds, she said.

"It seems to be the same people sacrificing, and it is the children," Swartz said.

Parent Julie Collier, who is aligned with with Parents Advocate League, spoke out against class-size increases and furlough days.

"The last people who should be feeling this budget crunch is children," Collier said. "Go back and find alternative ways to balance the budget that don’t negatively affect the student’s learning."

concerned parent April 26, 2012 at 01:43 PM
This gives more opportunity for parents and taxpayers to unite against this action that would directly impact and hurt our children. Sign the petition against larger class sizes here: http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/cusd-parents-against-increased-class-sizes/signatures And consider going to the next board meeting to speak out against the waiver.
Capo Dad April 26, 2012 at 04:48 PM
There is an option to sign, but not have your name show up online. A good idea for those who have children in the CUSD schools and have witnessed the vindictive nature of the union toward anyone who opposes them.
Terri Mostet April 26, 2012 at 07:36 PM
The board meeting will be again uneventful; if we as parents cannot rally other parents to attend the meetings and speak out in opposition!
M May 07, 2012 at 01:33 PM
@capo dad, the union does not want increased class sizes. That means less teachers, think about it.
Jane Lambson May 07, 2012 at 02:56 PM
M- That is EXACTLY what the union wants to keep the salaries high for the older teachers. On the face of it, your point would seem accurate. Why cut teaschers and therefore union dues? But that is how the CUEA negotiated during the strike period. The BOT wanted to cut 1/2 of one percent higher in across the board wages in order to save jobs for the less senior teachers. Ironic, huh, that it was the BOT who was trying to save jobs and the CUEA/Capo Unions First pointed them out as the evil bad people. Go figure.

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