[The Brazil Times nameplate] Mostly Cloudy ~ 63°F  
High: 64°F ~ Low: 41°F
Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Tempers flare over transfer policy

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Dan Schroeder
A letter that is in the process of being prepared for students to take home explaining possible changes to the student transfer policy was the topic of discussion during the Clay Community School Board of Trustees special session meeting Tuesday.

Supt. Dan Schroeder provided school board members with information from the state regarding future cuts to be made and building the 2011 budget around those cuts.

"Our classes are becoming overcrowded and some individuals are being allowed to transfer in and we have had to move employees or hire additional employees," he said. "Which is fine when you are not in a budget problem."

Schroeder expressed concern over class sizes, because if transfers were accepted at the elementary schools, and class sizes grew too large, then additional teachers would have to be hired.

He said the proposal was for the principals to send out a letter and get an idea on all the transfers that are in place, both new and old. Then in early August, the principals would get together to determine the class sizes.

"I feel that we are given an impossible task," he said. "We want to keep our class sizes low, and yet we don't want to spend unnecessary money. Without knowing the numbers how do you make those decisions?"

As the discussion continued, Schroeder compared class sizes for the elementary schools by grades.

"I guess my question is why are we keeping extra teachers if we really don't need them," Schroeder said.

Brian Atkinson
"I guess my answer is, I don't see that we have extra teachers," board member Brain Atkinson replied.

"Well, I think that we do," Schroeder said. "When you look at the fourth-and fifth-grades, they have 55 students. You can have 27 and 28 students in one class and only have two classes, which would give you the option to do away with a teacher."

However, Atkinson did not understand why it was the transfer students being singled out.

"We are taking a spreadsheet approach to the transfers," he said. "The transfers are a small percentage of our overall population."

Atkinson said the letter was implying to parents the transfer policy would be eliminated or changed, which could not happen because the board had not voted on a policy change.

However, it is the concern in funding and the future personnel and teachers within the corporation that has Schroeder worried.

"I've been through RIF's (reduction in force) before, and you have to justify to other teachers and the community and sometimes even students why you are cutting programs and individuals," he said. "It is very difficult to add people because you are accepting transfers when those could be denied and that is costing you money. Then, you are asked to cut people or programs in other areas."

Schroeder agreed to changes in the wording of the letter, and the administration is going to continue to monitor the class sizes and transfer students.