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The proposed staffing for reading initiative teachers is unchanged from 2012 and 2013 levels. What are the responsibilities of these teachers? Please explain why this staffing has not increased consistent with enrollment? What are the caseloads for reading initiative teachers over the last five years?

Question#: 38

BUDGET PAGE REFERENCE: 1-3

ANSWER:

Reading initiative teachers are allocated to non-focus schools to teach reading to first and second grade students.  Reading is taught for 90 minutes each day.  The reading initiative positions are allocated in .3 increments for each section of reading initiative required at a school.  The guideline formula is based on a class size of 20 students per class. As enrollment increased in grades 1 and 2, MCPS added sections of classroom teachers for these grade levels. 

This means that the need for reading initiative teacher positions has not increased.  In fact, in some cases the need for reading initiative teacher positions at a school may decrease depending on where the additional grade level sections are added.  For example, if a school has 75 students in Grade 1, then three classroom teacher positions are allocated.  An additional .3 reading initiative teacher position is allocated to the school so that the reading class sizes remain within the guidelines.  If the enrollment in Grade 1 goes up to 80 the following year, then a fourth classroom teacher position is allocated to school. Since the class size is at 20, a reading initiative teacher is not needed.

In other cases, an additional classroom teacher is added and the number of reading initiative sections remains the same.  There are some cases where no classroom teacher positions are added, but increases in enrollment result in an additional reading initiative teacher position being allocated.  The balance of these changes results in reading initiative being approximately the same each year even though the number of classroom teacher positions increase with enrollment.

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