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Prop R Progress: Smaller Secondary School Class Sizes Planned for 2008-09

With the passage of Proposition R in November 2006, our community showed its support for Parkway. In turn, to fulfill our promises to voters, the district has already implemented several initiatives to enhance learning, including smaller class sizes at the elementary level, support for student interventions and increased focus on technology integration in the classroom.

On January 16, the Parkway Board of Education approved a set of assumptions for the 2008-09 budget which will allow us to continue our commitment to lower class sizes at all levels and improve instruction, while maintaining financial stability.

For the 2008-09 school year, new district priorities include reducing class sizes at the middle and high school levels and continuing to enhance technology, with Smart Board installations and 20 high tech demo classrooms - one in every core subject area at each middle school.

Highlights of proposed budget features include:

Smart Boards: $500,000 allocated from the 2004 bond issue to kick start the Smart Board initiative. The district is using $600,000 in bond funds from this year’s budget to implement wireless technology. With 11 buildings already completed, wireless will be available in every building by August 2008.
More technology: $400,000 to support the addition of 20 high tech demo classrooms - one in Science, Communication Arts, Social Studies and Math at each of five middle schools.
Staffing: Additional staffing to reduce middle and high school class sizes, support phase II special education students and expand math interventions.
Facilities: Maintenance and repair projects scheduled for the summer of 2008 will use the remainder of 2004 bond issue funds.  Options for additional funding and projects to complete the district's long-range plan to repair and renovate our 28 schools will be addressed by parents and staff this spring.
VST: Student enrollment in the Voluntary Student Transfer program is expected to decrease by 245 students or 14 percent next year. 
Revenues:Projected to increase by 0.26 percent to $206.4 million while expenses are expected to be $204.9 million.

A preliminary budget will be presented at the April 9 meeting at Central Middle School. The board is scheduled to adopt a final budget on June 18, also at Central Middle.