By Brittany Hanson/Garden Grove Journal
School is now less in session. At Tuesday night’s meeting of the Garden Grove Unified School District Board of Education, agreements were approved with various employee groups that included furlough days without pay.
The board approved agreements with Garden Grove Education Association, Garden Grove Pupil Personnel Services Association, California School Employees Association Chapter 121 and the Supervisory Unit.
There will be four fewer days to the school year, a reduction from 180 to 176, just one above the required amount of days for school to be in session.
Four furlough days will be cut from salaries for those who work under 12 months of the year in GGUSD.
There will be five cut from those who work 12 months of the year. This will save the district an estimated $6 million.
More information and an updated school year calendar will be distributed to students and parents on Friday, according to Alan Trudell, GGUSD’s public information officer.
Also, a waiver was approved to allow for an increase in class size. Currently the classroom ratio averages at about 29 students to one teacher.
This waiver, which Superintendent Laura Schwalm said has already been implemented in many other school districts, allows for classroom sizes to expand to 30 students to one teacher.
“I think it’s a travesty to have classrooms this big, “ said Schwalm, “There’s a plan, but I don’t want to say it’s a good one. It will especially impact our elementary schools. It doesn’t have the same effect on every school. Needless to say, our class sizes are going to be large.”
Chris Francis, president of the GGEA, said that although most of the teachers were understanding of the tough situation that the GGUSD was in he was “hoping we don’t have to deal with that nasty f-word, furlough” too much in the future.
“I think people in Sacramento ought to be ashamed of themselves when they don’t have a budget . . . it will be a very happy day for me when we can start bringing our classes back down and not have furloughs. We have very good people working in our classrooms,” said Schwalm.