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Out of room

September 26, 2009

Re "Some L.A. classrooms bursting at the seams," Sept. 20

The situation is even worse than the public is led to believe because some districts compute so-called average class size by dividing the number of students on a campus by the number of credentialed instructors on the campus. Many of those credentialed personnel are not actually classroom teachers.

John Rossmann

Tustin

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Despite the state's budget crisis, the educational bureaucrats still fail to recognize that more on-campus teachers are needed to help reduce class size. Until more out-of-touch administrators are willing to eliminate their high-paying positions that do not improve student learning, students will pay the price.

Ivan J. Simon

San Luis Obispo

::

Certainly, the recession has hurt a lot of individuals and businesses, but still, there is so much money in this state -- couldn't some of California's wealthy, instead of buying a second or third or fourth home, "adopt" a public school? An investment in education is an investment in our future, and it benefits all of us. Also, as a middle-class person, I would be glad to pay more in taxes to support education and see that basic human needs are met.

Trudy Ring

Burbank

::

One must not overlook the unfortunate demise of the Morgan-Hart law, the state statute that about 20 years ago gave school districts the opportunity to limit high school class size to 20 students in a given grade and subject area.

Ask any English teacher the cost of class-size increase and you'll hear frustrating tales of ever-more essays to evaluate, more discipline to exert and fewer precious opportunities to discuss the individual differences that help determine a novice writer's style.

The death of Morgan-Hart took place in the twinkling of an eye -- shot dead by budget cuts. No fuss. No major announcements. Sadly, what used to be classes of 20 now verge on 40 or higher.

Daniel D. Victor

Los Angeles

::

My son is a junior in a magnet school. Initially, he was denied a spot in his required AP English because of overcrowding. Because so much pressure is placed on students to take the most challenging schedule available in order to be a contender for slots in top colleges, he and others are put at a disadvantage. This is what L.A. Unified has come to: Very good students who want to take challenging classes receive a sincere apology instead of their classes.

Ultimately, he was admitted to the class; a victory for us but a very difficult situation for the teacher who now has 41 kids in one class.

Crystal Griffin

Venice

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