San Diego Unified staffers are recommending that the school board tweak their ideas for spending stimulus money earmarked for disadvantaged students, potentially marking the second change to stimulus plans in the school district.

Instead of cutting class sizes down to 15 students per teacher in grades K-2 at the 25 elementary schools selected based on their poverty level and test scores, staffers want to up the student-to-teacher ratio to 16.5 at the chosen schools. This would ensure that all 25 schools can be staffed at the same level with the available funding. Doing so would cost $9,306,015 in teacher salaries; the lower ratio would cost more, exceeding the stimulus money that remains. Human resources staffers said earlier this week that the plan would provide jobs for 116 elementary school teachers who would otherwise be displaced.

Staffers also recommended devoting roughly $600,000 to expanding a mentoring program and attendance incentives for high school freshmen. You can check out our article about one of those programs at Morse High School here. The board will discuss the idea on Tuesday.


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