Palo Alto teachers’ union protests increasing class sizes

Oct. 13, 2011, 2:15 a.m.

Palo Alto Unified School District teachers called for the Board of Education to halt a four-year trend of growing class sizes at Tuesday’s board meeting.

Recent budget cuts caused the average class size in Palo Alto elementary schools to rise from 19.9 in the 2007-08 school year to 22.2 this fall. Financial incentives to reduce class sizes have also been cut in light of the state of California’s ongoing budget crisis. Recent enrollment increases has also reduced revenue to $919 per student in the past three years, according to Superintendent Kevin Skelly.

Though the teachers suggested that elementary class sizes could rise to as much as 30 students each, Skelly said that those rumors are “not accurate.”

Nonetheless, Skelly said that current class sizes “are at the edge of board and staff comfort levels.” The issue remains unresolved in the district’s negotiations with the Palo Alto Educators Association.

Ivy Nguyen

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