CCSD makes plea for education funding to ease class sizes
LAS VEGAS (FOX5) -
With six weeks left until the end of the Nevada legislative session, the Clark County School District is making an urgent plea to lawmakers to fix one of the district's biggest problems - classroom overcrowding.
School officials said adding 2,000 teachers would reduce the burden but it would come at a cost of $128 million.
About 40 students are cramped into classrooms at James Cashman Middle School. One student said it's not easy when there's no one-on-one time with the teacher, she's easily distracted by students around her and there's not enough materials to go around.
Sixth-grader Angela Siapno wants to be an engineer and attend an Ivy League university but she said large classes are making it difficult to reach her goals.
"It's so crowded," said Siapno. "It feels clustered and sometimes the teacher can't focus on everyone to make their learning experience better."
Angela's teacher, Ashli Stauffer, admits it's a struggle every day.
"It's tough," said Stauffer. "I'm not going to lie. It's tough to deal with that many students all at once."
The school district said that's the reality for hundreds of schools across the valley. They're calling on lawmakers to make education funding a top priority since several bills are being discussed in Carson City and time is running out.
"We can't just keep things going the way they are and expect different results," said Skorkowsky. "We have to accelerate things and we have to move it forward at a much quicker pace."
Interim Superintendent Pat Skorkowsky's goal is to decrease class sizes by eight students in grades four though 12 so it's closer to a 30-student per one teacher ratio. He knows hiring more teachers will cost nearly $130 million but he said the hefty price tag is worth it.
"We have to do better by our students," said Skorkowsky. "We have to do better by our teachers. We have to do better for the community."
If it doesn't happen, students like Angela could pay the price.
"I'm sure it will dampen my goals," said Angela. "I will try my hardest."
The Clark County School District won't know how much education funding will come its way until Gov. Brian Sandoval's budget is finalized in six weeks.
The Clark County Education Association is backing the school district. The teacher's union will be holding a community meeting on April 27 at Western High School to address class sizes.
Copyright 2013 KVVU (KVVU Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.
Monday, July 28 2014 1:54 AM EDT2014-07-28 05:54:28 GMT
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