School district backs class size bill

The San Diego Unified School District is backing a bill authored by four local Assembly members that would stop the state from fining the district for having increased class sizes because of budget problems, the district announced Friday.

The bill was authored by Assemblyman Marty Block, D-San Diego, and Assemblyman Nathan Fletcher, R-San Diego, and co-authored by Assemblywoman Lori Saldana, D-San Diego, and Assemblywoman Mary Salas, D-Chula Vista.

Under the bill, school districts would not be fined for putting more

students in classrooms unless class sizes grew to more than 24 students, according to the SDUSD.

Because of funding shortfalls, the San Diego school district increased class sizes this year for kindergarten through third grade to 24 students, district officials said.

District officials said that had they not been fined, they could have kept classes at 22 students.

“In these difficult times, we must protect classroom funding by providing our schools with flexibility to address budget challenges,” Fletcher said in a statement. “This legislation will keep classes small, save local school districts money and give teachers and administrators this needed flexibility.”

School officials said the bill would save the district $6.75 million a year.