Osseo’s superintendent recommended using a fund balance to invest more than $1 million in smaller class sizes in kindergarten through third grade for next year.
At a board meeting Tuesday, a member said the addition of classroom teachers is the highlight of the proposed budget.
Barb Olson, a spokeswoman for the district, said the recommendation involves a “strategic investment” that means not all classrooms will reduce in size. It also won’t involve cuts or class size caps, she said. The goal is to make sure students are reading at grade level by grade three, supporting the state's World's Best Workforce aim.
“We know that if students are reading at grade level by grade three, they are more likely to have success in later grades,” Olson said.
Robert Gerhart, vice chairperson of the school board, wrote a blog post about the decision. Although the district doesn’t have the resources to reduce classes sizes in higher grades, he said this is a start.
“I plan to support this action,” Gerhart wrote. “The function of the school district is to educate students, and class size is one of the few variable for which there is little disagreement about the return on investment in terms of student achievement.”
The school board will decide whether or not to take action on the recommendation at a meeting on Feb. 16.
Olson said in an email Friday evening that Osseo superintendent Kate Maguire is proposing to draw more than $1 million from the fund balance to invest in smaller class sizes.