All-day kindergarten is going to remain in the Marana Unified School District for the 2010-'11 school year, the district's governing board decided last week.
It affirmed the status of all-day kindergarten April 13, when the board defeated a reduction in force that would have cut 21 additional teaching positions.
An earlier reduction of 72 employees, among them 64 certified teaching positions and eight administrative and "exempt" jobs, remains in place.
It's likely that kindergarten class sizes would increase from an average of 21 to 25 students in the new school year. And, this Thursday, the board takes up the subject of reducing its 885-person support staff, including a recommendation from Superintendent Dr. Doug Wilson that kindergarten classroom aide positions be eliminated.
While the program "will be impacted" by larger class sizes and the prospect of fewer aides, the MUSD board "verbalized they are supporting full-day kindergarten next year, at no cost to parents," MUSD spokeswoman Tamara Crawley said.
MUSD expects a reduction in its funding for next school year of $5.6 million, which would rise to $10.3 million if the May 18 1 percent sales tax increase is defeated by state voters. The district's operating budget for fiscal year 2009-'10 is $74.6 million. The smaller reduction would represent a 7.5 percent cut; the larger figure would reduce MUSD's funding by 13.8 percent.
With reduced funding ahead, the district has agreed to approximate class sizes of 25 students in kindergarten, up from 21 this year; 25 in first grade, up from 20 this year; 30 in second grade, up from 26; 32 in grades 3-6, up from 28; and 35 students in secondary levels, up from 30 this year. Actual classroom numbers would vary based upon grade level enrollment at each Marana school.
MUSD has 885 support staff employees in both full- and part-time positions. The district has total employment of 1,789 people. Current year student enrollment is 12,917.