Lowering the numbers of students in the classrooms of Madera Unified School District appears to be at the top of the school board’s agenda. Some trustees want to do it immediately and it took words of caution from board president Ricardo Arredondo and Interim Superintendent Anthony Monreal to convince the board to look before leaping.
The issue arose at Tuesday night’s school board meeting after Monreal presented the district’s 2013-14 preliminary budget. In the discussion that followed, Trustee Ray Seibert pointed out that the budget committee has shown that the district can spend $2.7 million and still maintain a reserve of 15 percent. Siebert indicated that he would like to see the money spent on class size reduction.
Trustee Michael Salvador agreed that class size reduction is imperative now, and he took a strong stand to begin at K-3. Trustee Maria Velarde-Garcia also voiced support for class size reduction.
Monreal, while echoing support, indicated a preference for starting at grades four through six. He pointed out that the statewide shift to new curriculum standards under the Common Core program is going to bring on new teaching methods, which will necessitate fewer numbers of students in the upper grades as well...