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Mailbag

April 22, 2009

Proposed layoffs would hurt neediest

I am a single parent of two students in the Burbank Unified School District, and I am hereby voicing my concerns regarding the budget crises. I am very upset about plans to lay off teachers.

My dear son is now in the seventh grade at John Muir Middle School. He has greatly benefited from the current student ratios. Although he suffers from ADD, his teachers have really helped him stay focused. This has helped him excel academically.

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My dear daughter is in kindergarten at Miller Elementary.

It is too early to tell if she has any learning disabilities yet, but I am hoping that she can enjoy the same education opportunities that my dear son has had so far.

I cannot afford private school, and I am not receiving any financial help. I must rely on the taxes I pay to provide the best education for my children through the public school system.

Please let me know how you can help us parents fix the budget crises in the schools, and stop the teacher layoffs.

Let’s not short-change our children. Please keep me posted.

ANDREA FOSTER

Burbank

Classroom ratios must be kept smaller

I am a former elementary school teacher and the parent of a second-grader at Stevenson Elementary School in the Burbank Unified School District.

My son is a special needs child with autism and has greatly benefited from having a 20-1 ratio in his kindergarten-through- second-grade classrooms.

He is an excellent student, a great reader, and very high-functioning as a direct result of the small group instruction he has received.

I am greatly troubled by the thought that he will not receive the benefits of being educated in a 20-1 classroom next year.

We moved into the Burbank district before my son was of school age because we felt the standards in Burbank schools were well above those in surrounding school districts. There will be a shift toward lower test scores, and as a district you will see that more children will take longer to learn to read if you do away with class-size reduction. Thirty or more children is too many students for kindergarten through third grade.

Please don’t let this be your legacy! You do not want to be remembered as the City Council that got rid of class-size reduction; do not allow this to happen in Burbank.

Stand up for kids, and do what is right.

We need 20 kids in primary grades, and we need to give jobs back to the teachers!

DANIELLE SOST

Burbank


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