Category Archives: Class Size

Full Day Kindergarden – Advocacy and Cost

I have been quite open to full day kindergarten (FDK) as research indicates it supports children academically, socially, and emotionally. My approach to an issue like this is to confirm the objective, and then work to figure out how to fund it.

Newton’s FDK task force, working under past superintendent Jim Marini, suggested steps to advance this discussion a couple years ago but no further action has been taken. So step one is to do followup. Continue reading Full Day Kindergarden – Advocacy and Cost

Money and its impact on class size

(A post I wrote to the NewtonParents listserve on 9-2-09, in response to a question about how to deal with growing class size)

The issue of class size is entirely one tied to money.

Here is the roller coaster: class size is going up, because teacher numbers are going down, because compensation is going up, while the rate of revenue increase is going down. Last year the school department cut 80 positions, and 80 more would have been cut for this coming year had NPS not budgeted for a freeze in COLA. The NTA has still not ratified this contract, so who knows what our final budget numbers will be.

Some options to deal with the roller coaster include: bringing more money into the system (property tax increases, hotel and restaurant tax increases, new growth, PILOTs, raising fees, taxing telecommunication company assets, etc.), finding cost savings and efficiencies, and shifting money from the municipal budget.   Continue reading Money and its impact on class size