Barring some unexpected gyrations from Sacramento, Capistrano Unified should receive enough state funding to return to a full 180-day academic calendar next year and start reducing class sizes.
That was the word from Superintendent Joseph Farley, who met with parents Wednesday as part of his periodic forums he hosts.
The district dipped below the standard 180 days in 2012-13, to 175 days, as officials struggled with an incredibly tight budget. In fact, had Prop. 30 not passed that year, the district was prepared to shorten the school year by an additional two weeks.
Then for this year, the school board restored two days in June, but left three furlough days on the calendar.
In addition, class sizes – which grew in 2012-13 – only nominally shrank this year.
Farley, however, sees better days ahead.
“Getting back to the 180 days, reducing class size and eliminating furlough days are the priority,” he said. “I think all of them are priority No. 1 and pretty much they have to go hand in hand. … We want to get back to where we were.”
Several parents at the meeting voiced concern that class sizes interfere with a teacher’s ability to teach to the various levels of readiness in a classroom.
While Farley agreed that class sizes give pause, the students continue to score well in testing.
He also said class sizes won’t shrink overnight.
“Ideally they should be significantly lower. Maybe we’ll have to work our way to it,” Farley said.