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Thursday, March 5, 2009 | Congratulations to reporter Emily Alpert who has been recognized recently for outstanding education reporting.

A perfect example of her work is today’s excellent piece describing the complicated San Diego Unified School Board’s budget-balancing tap dance (or crapshoot — take your pick.)

Increasing the size of already-large high school classes is unacceptable to everyone (so far); increasing the 20-student class limit in grades K-3 is unacceptable to everyone (so far); “golden handshaking” unknown numbers of teachers at unknown grade levels is a certain recipe for subsequent staffing disaster. What to do?

Maybe this is why previous school boards historically have notified all teachers about possible layoffs by March 15 (per state law) in order to have the greatest flexibility to obtain qualified instructors for various grades after the budget sword falls. Maybe this turns out to be the most educationally responsible decision, even though it is (so far) politically unacceptable to the teachers’ association or its majority proxy on the Board of Education.

Anyway, thanks, Emily. Nice work.

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