• Frequently Asked Questions on Funding and Alturas Elementary

    April 11, 2018

    Is the funding formula and allocation for Alturas Elementary changing?

    The funding formula and staff allocation for general education (classroom teachers and paraprofessionals) for Alturas is the same as it was last year.  The funding formula for support positions remained the same and resulted in an increase in allocation for social worker, English Language Development, special education, and gifted and talented education positions.  A divisor of 18/class for grades K to 2 and 23 for grades 3 to 5 is used for all elementary schools.  

    How is the funding formula different than class size?

    Class size policy provides recommendations and some classes will be larger or smaller than those recommended numbers, depending on many other factors.  The funding formulas use a divisor less than the class size recommended in the policy so that schools may align with the recommendations.

    A funding formula is a method of allocating staff to meet the needs of each school equitably across the district, which results in classes and class sizes that vary from elementary to secondary.

    Why aren’t there more paraprofessionals in my child’s classroom at Alturas Elementary?

    Paraprofessionals are an important part of a school’s ability to provide services for students.  Paraprofessionals are included with the funding formula and staff allocations for schools. Principals can choose to use paraprofessional positions in whatever way they see fit.  Some principals choose to use the equivalent of two paraprofessional positions to add a teacher position thus resulting in less paraprofessional support.

    Why is there a funding formula?

    A funding formula and allocation prevents bias for any one school or program and allows the district to balance revenues and expenses.  Prior to the use of formulas, staff positions were added whenever requested. This impacted the district’s spending and required the Board of Trustees to dip into reserve funds in order to meet expenses.

    What did the Board of Trustees approve when they created Alturas Elementary and approved it as a magnet school?

    Here is the link to the Board of Trustees decision made in January, 2013.

    Board Member Shawn Bennion made a motion to approve a magnet school at Woodside Elementary and one DI class per grade at Hemingway Elementary. Don Nurge seconded the motion. There was no additional discussion; Chairman Guthrie then called for a roll call vote. Shawn Bennion: Aye Kathryn Graves: Nay Paul Bates: Nay Don Nurge: Aye Steve Guthrie: Aye

    The Board did not specify a specific model or allocation for the school.

    Why can’t the Board of Trustees fund Alturas differently than other schools?

    The Board of Trustees could do this.  This would then create a district where one school was funded differently than other schools, leading to inequitable opportunities for all students.

    Who makes the decision to move staff or teachers within the school?

    The district allocates a certain number of staff for each school according to the funding formula.  The principal then makes the decision of how best to use that allocation to meet the needs of the students.

    Have the Board of Trustees visited Alturas Elementary?

    All five of the Trustees were at Alturas Elementary in March for a public meeting on the Supplemental Levy.  Trustee Mandeville attended the most recent Educator for a Day at Alturas Elementary and spent half the day touring the school and spending time with two fifth grade classes and teachers.