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Letter: Fewer students should mean fewer teachers

To the editor:

Budget time is here, and enrollment drops continue to plague the ConVal district — and that means staff numbers must correlate to these enrollment drops.

The figures below reflect what’s happening to the budget.

It appears there is need to make more serious reductions of staff. The enrollment continues to drop and is projected to drop even more, according to the district statistician.

Let me set the stage for our new budget. In 1993, enrollment was 2,778, and teachers numbered 219 for a student-teacher ratio of 13:1. In 2012, enrollment is 2,455, and teachers number 262 for a student-teacher ratio of 9:1, according to documents provided by Marian Alese, district business manager.

Applying the 1993 ratio of 13:1 to 2012’s enrollment of 2,455 suggests only 189 teachers would be needed.

Taking the current teacher total of 262, minus the estimate of 189 teachers, needed it would suggest that we have 73 more teachers than needed.

Assuming an average cost of $60,000 per teacher, the total budget overload would be approximately $4 million — thats $60,000 times 73.

In 1993, there were 38 paraprofessionals on payroll. In 2012, there are now 107.

No wonder our gross cost per student is jumping off the charts.

Fran Chapman

Peterborough

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