VACAVILLE — The state’s new method of paying for public education will likely see schools in Vacaville add close to two dozen new teachers in coming years to keep class sizes small in primary grades.
That method, called Local Control Funding Formula, requires reduced class sizes, among other things, to ensure a district receives maximum funding.
Focusing on the requirements for reduction in class sizes, district human resources chief Randy Henry zeroed in on class sizes for kindergarten through third grade, while addressing the school board Thursday night.
By the time the law reaches its full implementation, targeted for the 2020-21 school year, Henry said the state will require K-3 class sizes to average no more than 24 children at each individual school site – not districtwide.
“This is the only bit of news we know for sure,” Henry told the board.
Now, the issue is how to reach that goal in the next seven school years to avoid losing the class-size reduction funding the state would provide.
The district currently sits at a 28.03-child average in K-3 classes and that must be reduced 15 to 20 percent, Henry said. In order to reach that goal, Henry said the district will need a total of 149 teachers in those grades. That’s 23 new full-time teachers for full implementation.
Adding five to six new teachers each year would give the district a 30 percent reduction in class sizes by 2020-21.
That’s an additional $375,000 per year added to the district’s budget, or $1.3 million per year total at $70,000 per year, per teacher.
That was just the beginning of the challenges, Henry said. There’s also what he called facilities barriers.
“We have two sites with no classroom space available,” he said. “Where are we going to find space?”
As the process plays itself out, the district will receive more information on what its requirements are in the coming years, Henry said, and it will better know how to phase in the reduced class sizes.
Reach Mike Corpos at 427-6979 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/mcorposdr.