A vote to increase class size is expected before the March 15 deadline to notice employees they could be laid off.
“[This] is going to affect the lives of our teachers, but this is a huge crisis we’re facing,” board Vice President Greg Krikorian said.
Increasing class size would not fully solve the district’s financial insolvency, said Eva Lueck, Glendale Unified chief financial officer. Should school board members increase class size, the district would still have a $5.3-million projected deficit in 2011-12, which could trigger greater regulation and oversight from county and state education officials.
Without class-size reduction and other cost saving measures, district administrators project an $18.5-million deficit for 2011-12. School districts are required by law to provide solvent budgets three years into the future.
“Thinking we’re only going to be at 24 or 25 [students in kindergarten through third grade classes] is really a pipe dream because you can see how much we need to fill those beakers for 2011-12 and 2012-13,” Supt. Michael Escalante said. “We don’t want people to be under the misunderstanding . . . because the probability is significant.”
Board members said they may opt to increase class size up to 27 or 28 students.
The projections do not factor attrition rates for parents who could leave the district for private or parochial school.
“My concern is we might lose some of these families who can afford to do otherwise, and we take a hit on [attendance-based revenue],” board member Christine Walters said.
It is also unknown what classrooms have the capacity to hold 30 students.
“We need a full understanding of what the board would like us to target . . . as we prepare to restructure our staff,” Escalante said.