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If the 5.0 instrumental music (IM) teachers are restored, how many students will be served per week by a full-time IM teacher? How does this ratio compare to surrounding school systems? What is an optimal staffing ratio for IM instruction? How many IM teachers must be added, beyond the 5.0 proposed, to achieve an optimal ratio?

Question#: 32

BUDGET PAGE REFERENCE: 1-3

ANSWER:

The additional 5.0 elementary instrumental music teacher positions recommended in the FY 2014 Operating Budget will bring the .1 instrumental music allocation ratio down from 1:46 to 1:38.  A .1 teacher allocation is a four-hour employee. This represents five thirty-minute sections of instrument music. The number of students served per week by a full-time instrumental music teacher will range from 323–380. This establishes an average class size of between 8 and 9 students per class.  As indicated in the response to Question 2, the staffing formula, models, and standards for other Maryland districts vary. 

Information shared by community members indicating the instrumental music ratios have changed from 31:1 to 46:1 reflects the increase in the ratio for an instrumental music teacher. This does not reflect the average class size.  As noted in the response to Question 2 and above, the numbers are used to determine the .1 allocation to schools. Each .1 allocation represents approximately five sections of instrumental music. The ratios are used for allocation purposes and do not describe the class sizes.  

Although enrollment has increased over the past years, MCPS has not added additional staffing.  Despite enrollment increases MCPS has been able to stay below average class sizes of 9.  Because enrollment continues to grow, the additional 5.0 positions are requested to address the continued and projected growth in elementary schools. If staffing was returned to the FY 2008 allocation level of 1:31, a total of 48.8 positions would be required. This is an additional 8.6 positions beyond the 5.0 positions already requested. With a ratio of 1:31, class sizes would be lowered to an average of approximately six students per section. 

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