The recommended allocation is as follows:
Increase 1 Elementary Teacher $ 69,285
Increase 9 Elementary Intervention Tutors $175,715
Increase School Safety $ 10,000
You'll recall that the intervention tutors were cut as a result of the Title I sequestration hit.
Regarding the elementary addition, Superintendent Boone says the following:
The FY14 budget already includes six elementary classroom positions not yet assigned until actual enrollments are known in late August. These positions will then be assigned to address class size issues that may occur through new student enrollment or student migration within the district. Even with these positions, we are anticipating 39 K-6 classrooms to have 27-30 students next year but having these unassigned positions at this point is essential to address enrollment spikes that may occur.Emphasis added throughout.
In particular, we have been closely monitoring the kindergarten enrollments at schools and recently the total kindergarten enrollment at Flagg Street School exceeds thirty students per class, primarily because 16 kindergarten students next year were allowed to attend the school through the voluntary transfer program (in-district school choice). Without the voluntary transfer students there would only be 44 students currently for next year.
Therefore, as a result of the enrollment now, we are taking steps now to restore a position that was reduced earlier in the proposed budget. This current year, the kindergarten enrollment at Flagg Street School is 50 students in three classes, resulting in an average class size of 17 students each. This represents the third lowest kindergarten class size average in the district.The enrollment increase to thirty students per class warrants a position at this time. No other school enrollments have exceeded thirty students so no further action on assigning positions will occur at this time. We will continue to monitor the enrollment status of each school on a weekly basis between now and the start of the school year and assign available positions when enrollment and available space warrants such action.
- We are still projecting 39 classes at 27-29 students.
- Flagg Street's kindergarten class is large due to in-district school choice (raising an obvious question regarding what's being allowed).
- Six teachers are being held in reserve for August allocation (or earlier, if we know).
Note that, per City Council motion last week, $177,000 has been requested by the Council from free cash for the Worcester Public Schools. That money remains to be allocated (as we don't allocate until it gets passed!).
We start budget session at 4 tomorrow!