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Richfield School District to Cut Teachers, Increase Class Sizes

Richfield School Board plans to cut teachers and other school workers in order to balance the districts budget.

Due to a loss in state funding, the is expecting a $1.1 million reduction in its budget for next year, which will result in a cut in teachers, Superintendent Bob Slotterback announced at the school board's Tuesday night meeting.

The district , according to Slotterback, and will now need to reduce personnel.

"This positions us to be able to effectively bring proposed cuts into next year's spending [so we are] able to balance our budget," Slotterback said.

In anticipation of this measure, the school board approved an adjustment in class-size targets, which Slotterback said would give district principals a sense about the number of teachers they will have to reduce.

The board is expected to receive a list of positions that are recommended for position reductions at its meeting on March 7. At that time, the board expects it will place individuals on an unrequested leave of absence. The unrequested leave of absence is proposed to take place in April with probationary terminations occurring before June 1.

Slotterback said the result of the class-size target could mean that about 17 FTE, or full-time equivalent, teaching positions could be reduced. The total class size increase is undetermined at this point.

Further, reductions in other non-teaching departments will also be necessary, Slotterback said.

"If we make this change it is going to affect the student experience," Todd Nollenberger, director of the Richfield School Board, though he did not disagree with the measure.

Slotterback said the increase in class size will probably be the trend for the next two to four years in the district.

In other business, the Richfield Public School District's quarterly financial report was also presented by Jason Mutzenberger, supervisor of financial services for the district. The report indicated a significant shift in funding as well as some unexpected costs, which resulted in the loss of about $50,000.

Mutzenberger will be presenting a revised budget next month.

Also during the meeting, the board heard an update on the activities of a number of career education programs in the district, approved a general disbursement in the amount of $529, 030 and excepted multiple donations from various local organizations.

The will be held at 7 p.m. on March 7 at Richfield Public School district office.

Jodi February 24, 2011 at 02:13 PM
I am concerned to hear class sizes will increase. That leaves a lot more responsibility for work and class management on the teachers. It will affect students. One of my sons "sharings" during dinner .... the teacher didn't call on him to answer a question. ( probably because she's taking the time to allow all students a turn to answer)........ add more students to her class....This may further discourage students desire to share. .... this certainly doesn't inspire the responsive classroom method. It would be nice to generate other options in budget cutting.
Elizabeth Royster February 24, 2011 at 05:22 PM
I would like to know what the current class size max is. I thought at one point it was 22 or 24 children per teacher? My son is at R-STEM and his class currently has 28 children in the classroom, 29 enrolled in his section with one teacher. She is good but once you get burnt out it doesn't matter how good you are.
Caitlin Burgess (Editor) February 24, 2011 at 05:33 PM
All the class sizes very in each section, at each school throughout the district. They will be discussing this more at the next meeting in early March and we will update you all when we know more. Thanks for the comment Elizabeth!
Mary Barnes February 26, 2011 at 03:25 AM
Maybe kick out the current board? Look at the old men, and create a revolution. Just a suggestion, since woman earn less than men. Nuff said. and have a GREAT weekend!
Mary Barnes February 26, 2011 at 03:39 AM
Just think what the district would save, hire all females. Dr. Slotterback, thank you for jumping the border from WI to MN. Your students, teachers, cooks, bus drivers, all of your staff, thank you. We are so humble to live here, and we really do appreciate everything this community does. so often, the little things are over looked, buy a fish, maybe a betta :) they are so calming. My folks at Edina Park Plaza, loved the bettas', 911 will under stand! 10th floor, 1 female, 1 male, the old folks were amazed!! also new fish here. thanks again. M
Mark Plenke February 27, 2011 at 10:29 PM
You can find the current and proposed class sizes here, Elizabeth: http://tinyurl.com/6fblyzc
Caitlin Burgess (Editor) February 28, 2011 at 03:07 AM
Thanks Mark!
Kirsten March 30, 2012 at 07:03 PM
Is there an update to this article, Caitlin? I'm curious as to what class sizes are projected to be for next year in the elementary schools.
Caitlin Burgess (Editor) April 01, 2012 at 09:44 PM
@Kristen: I'll take a peek around and see what I find!

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