Busting The Budget

By: Alana Adams
By: Alana Adams
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Spanish Springs Elementary School had been waiting since July, since they're a year round multi-track school, to get some relief in the classrooms.
Since the district had over-estimated growth at many schools, teachers were shuffled over to crowded schools like Spanish Springs.

Bob LeVitt, the principal of Spanish Springs, says the school was built for 650 students.
The current enrollment fills the school with 900 students, allowing them to bring in four additional teachers shuffled from other schools.. all that was left were the storage closets for their small group sessions.
The crowded classrooms will be relived next year when the Spanish Springs area opens two new elementary schools bringing Spanish Springs to an estimated enrollment of about 450 kids.

"Even though we're going to get relief with two new schools... that relief, if we continue to have families move into the area, it will be pretty short-lived relief."

That means about 450 kids from Spanish Springs and about 200 from Van Gorder Elementary will have to leave the school and start somewhere new.
But, right now even Lynn Berry-Howard, the principal of Van Gorder, has to send her kids to Spanish Springs because there is no more room.
"We're full and we're sorry."

So, the district says they work with parents and principals to re-draw the zoning lines deciding where your child will go to school.
Regardless of re-zoning, Paul Dugan, the superintendent, says the initial enrollment projections will be announced around February of next year, and then the "shuffling" process begins again.
"We always have to move teachers from one school to another and that has to do with the fact that even if our projections are correct, they may not always be exactly where we thought all the students are going to come."

The district says it also means teachers who have a job right now at an over-crowded school will most likely be pushed out next year, and they're not promised jobs at the new schools.
So, a teacher put in a crowded school to ease the student population this year may be looking for a new school anywhere in the district as early as next February.

The school district says, the teachers association agrees to the shuffling process each year, despite the fact no one is guaranteed jobs close to home.
District officials also point out that it can work to some schools advantage, like when teachers were shuffled out of 24 schools and into 24 other schools in more need of their services.


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