Spokane Parents Upset Over Class Size Increase Proposal

Spokane, Wash. - The Spokane Public School District is still trying to close a $12 million budget gap. Parents got the chance to weigh in Monday night at a public meeting Chase Middle School.

Last month, the district sent more than 200 layoff notices to teachers and other certified staff. More than 50 counselors who received those notices were recalled, but the district said their budget situation is dire.

Monday night the district handed out a list of ways to deal with the budget issues, and it was clear that increasing class size was not a popular idea.

At the public meeting parents and community members spoke against adding three more students to each classroom.

Each talked about the importance of their child's education, and how the quality of that education is impacted by class size.

"My child who's a quiet kid, who's your average student, he would just sail by in a class of 28. Nobody would notice him because that's the kind of kid he is," said one parent.

Increasing class size isn't the only option people were asked to consider, but it was by far the most cost reducing.

The district said increasing class size by three in grades K-12 would save $5 million.

At Monday night's meeting, the district also mentioned reducing administrator salaries by 3 percent, closing the administrative office for 2 weeks a year, and eliminating extracurricular activities.

There will be another public meeting Tuesday night at 7 o'clock at Glover Middle School.