San Diego Unified announced today that a new state bill introduced by two local legislators and sponsored by the district would send $6.75 million annually to local schools by relieving penalties for school districts that raise class sizes. (Check out our earlier explainer on how this would work.) The press release stated:

Under the pressure of state budget cuts, SDUSD increased class sizes in K-3 this year to 24:1. If the district had been able to keep all of its penalty money, it could have kept its classes at 22:1. Over the next two years, AB 2272 would provide San Diego Unified with additional revenue of more than $20 million that can be used to maintain current K-3 teacher to student ratios.

“Instead of putting our schools in a Catch-22 situation, let’s catch $20 million dollars for San Diego Unified and keep the money in the classroom where it belongs,” says Assemblymember (Marty) Block.

It added that schools would, however, face steeper penalties if they hiked their K-3 class sizes higher than 24-to-1. The bill was also introduced by Assemblyman Nathan Fletcher and cosponsored by Assembly members Lori Saldaña and Mary Salas. Stopping the penalties would save roughly $20 million over the next three years, spokesman Bernie Rhinerson explained.

San Diego Unified posted a fact sheet on the legislation here and the full text of the bill here

— EMILY ALPERT

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