Clear Creek ISD prides itself on publishing its little Board Report after every Board of Trustees meeting. Last week’s Board report was short and to the point, that all “consent agenda items were passed.”
But have you seen the consent agenda? Pay close, close attention to Item 6: Consider Approval of Class Sizes Over 22:1 Ratio for the Fall Semester 2019-2020. Here’s what that agenda item actually was:
It is the recommendation of the Superintendent [Holly Hughes] to approve the District’s request for a class size waiver for the following schools and grade levels: Campbell – 3rd, League City Elementary – 4th, Ross – 3rd, Stewart – 1st (mono) & 2nd bilingual, Ward – 2nd, White – 3rd & 4th.
What CCISD didn’t tell us in the agenda packet was what those class sizes actually were. Fortunately, we have sources who will point us in the right direction:
Wait, what?! Is that Campbell Elementary that needs a class size waiver because it exceeded growth? Yup-de-doodle! Dr. Steven Ebell, who was in charge of the SBAC, had to sit up there with his tail between his legs and explain that Campbell exceeded growth expectations, to no one’s surprise. It’s no secret that the Westover Park subdivision, which is largely zoned to Campbell, has a few dozen houses for sale at any given time. And there are still hundreds of undeveloped lots just waiting for elementary school children to move in.
You’ll also note that Ross Elementary is bursting at the seams with third graders. They had 26 kids in a classroom, although sources tell us that a third grade teacher was pulled from Gilmore Elementary and sent to Ross. That’s right, a third grade class was split up and scattered through the rest of the third grade classrooms at Gilmore because of poor planning on CCISD’s part. Nice work, Ms. Hughes and Dr. Ebell. Apparently, Dr. Ebell had been hedging his bets that there wouldn’t be any growth at Ross Elementary. And he lost, big time.
Board approves unlimited waivers
We watched the Board meeting video. In a rare move for Trustee Jennifer Broddle, she actually attempted to question Dr. Ebell about what happens if more kids move into the Ross Elementary zone.
Trustee Scott Bowen attempted to offer a solution that was in the best interest of the children. He made a motion to amend the agenda item to allow the waivers – but if class sizes had to be expanded again, there had to be another waiver voted on by the board.
To no one’s surprise, Trustee Win Weber was looking for wiggle room. I mean, it wouldn’t be in the best interest of CCISD if they had to hire more teachers, right? She wanted to let any expansion of classroom size slide. Remember that, District 2 folks. Ms. Weber doesn’t mind packing your kids into a classroom like sardines.
The end result was that Mr. Bowen was the only one out of the seven Trustees who voted in favor of the amendment to the agenda item. The waiver passed unanimously, painfully. It’s becoming crystal-clear what Ms. Broddle, Ms. Weber, and Trustees Jay Cunningham, Page Rander, Arturo Sanchez, and Laura DuPont think of our children. At best, they’re minor inconveniences to be shuffled around and packed into classrooms. At worst, they stand in the way of some end goal that we know nothing about.
And let’s not forget about the teachers who are watching their class sizes bloat. When will it end?