This is a copy of a letter I sent to the members of the Frederick County Board of Education regarding our schools pulled funding for teachers:
Members of the board,
I am writing this email because I am unable to attend the school board meeting this evening due to previous engagements with my children. We, as a group of concerned Myersville Elementary School parents, were informed that we could expect class sizes of 32-plus students for third and fourth grade next year. This in incomprehensible to me. Our current third-grade students (one of whom is my daughter) are just now getting caught up from experiencing large class sizes in second grade. My daughter had a learning disability that went undiagnosed for an entire grade because the teacher had 30 other children to look after. My daughter is not alone in falling behind. I have heard from a number of other parents that their children have experienced a harder year this year than ever before. A class of this size is not fair to either the teachers (who are scared of voicing any opposition for fear of losing their jobs) or the students.
At our school’s parent meeting, we were told that these numbers were totally fine by Mr. Raff. We were also told, however, that they would pull specialists in to the classroom to reduce the class size. Why? Because that is simply too many students to teach effectively. What then happens to the students who were seeing these specialists for the help they needed in much smaller groups? They lose their time getting necessary extra help.
This year I have seen (I volunteer at the school and am a Girl Scout leader) a dramatic increase in bullying at the school. My own daughter and many of my Girl Scouts have reported upsetting instances that I believe are directly linked to the groups formed during the too-large classes of last year.
I don’t want to see children fail. I have the utmost faith that the teaching staff at Myersville will do the best they can for our students. I hope that the people who hold my own children’s and other people’s children’s futures within their power don’t want to see them fail either. That is you. I hope that you can look beyond ratios and see that these students need to be shown that they are more than just a number and a test score. Please give our teachers a chance to reach them by ensuring we have enough teachers to go around.
Concerned parent and
Myersville Elementary School PTA president