Capo Unified to Discuss Class Sizes, Search for a New Superintendent

The board will consider asking the state to waive any financial penalties for big class sizes as a precaution, even though it may be unnecessary for the first time in two years.

Capistrano Unified trustees are scheduled to consider asking the state for a waiver to exceed maximum allowable class sizes. Patch photo credit: Penny Arévalo.
Capistrano Unified trustees are scheduled to consider asking the state for a waiver to exceed maximum allowable class sizes. Patch photo credit: Penny Arévalo.

Asking the state to exceed the allowable maximums in class size is on the Capistrano Unified school board agenda next week.

For the last three years, the Board of Trustees has made similar requests, and needed them twice.

However, for the first time in recent history, the district may actually have enough money to decrease class sizes, outgoing Superintendent Joseph Farley has said.

The move to get permission to maintain the above-allowable class sizes “is being taken in case budget projections change and the class size waiver is needed,” says an agenda listing.

State law requires class sizes in kindergarten to average no more than 31, in first through third grades no more than 30 and in grades four through eight to average no more than 29.9 students per teacher.

Districts that do could face financial penalties, but a waiver will prevent them.

At worst, district staff envision “the maximum individual class size in kindergarten through third grade would be 35 students,” says an agenda listing. “The maximum district class average would be 33 students in kindergarten and 34 students in grades one through three.

The flexibility of being able to go above the state’s upper limits also helps the district reduce combination classes, according to the agenda listing.

In other business, the board is expected to discuss the hunt for a new superintendent. In December, Farley announced he would be retiring at the end of this school year. The board meets a half hour later than usual, 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, at the Capistrano Unified headquarters, 33122 Valle Road in San Juan Capistrano.

A 5 p.m. special meeting is scheduled before the regular meeting, during which the board is scheduled to select the superintendent search firm for which Farley is already working part-time.

fact checker February 16, 2014 at 07:52 PM
So if it benefits a child it is irrelevant? This money is in addition to increased funding for every other child.
Capo Parent March 13, 2014 at 07:15 PM
FC has never met another person who money should could not spend on teacher, uh I mean education. Had to laugh when you cite the Legislature as a source for your claim that transitional kindergarten will save money. We all should be asking, how much money will be spent on transitional kindergarten before any savings are realized? Put another way, when has the Legislature ever projected costs accurately?
Dawn Urbanek March 13, 2014 at 08:59 PM
Dawn Urbanek March 13, 2014 at 08:59 PM
A Quote from Darrell Steinberg - regarding the additional $1.46 billion cost of expanding transitional kindergarten: “When I think about what we spend money on in this state, what we spend on education and the amount of surplus dollars we are experiencing, whether (the program expansion) costs $990 million or $1.46 billion, there’s not a better investment we could make"
fact checker March 13, 2014 at 09:09 PM
I agree with him. And Dawn you are forgetting about the other side of the ledger...the savings that will be generated by this program. I shudder to think of how you balance your checking account. All debits and no credits will leave you with a negative balance every month.


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