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Local: Education

DCPS plans to increase class size, cut special-ed positions

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Local,DC,Education,Lisa Gartner

D.C. Public Schools is planning to increase class size in its middle and high schools, and cut funding for special-education coordinators, according to budget documents.

Next school year, each middle-school teacher will oversee 22 students instead of 20, and high-school teachers will take on 24 students instead of 22.

In addition to cutting funding for special-education coordinators, DCPS will no longer budget for Schoolwide Application Model coaches.

"Schools may elect to fund either or both positions through their specialty funds if they choose," according to a budget guide on fiscal 2013 that appeared on DCPS's website some time before Tuesday afternoon.

Last year, Impact bonuses for highly effective DCPS teachers were funded through private donors. "DCPS has absorbed this cost for FY13," the guide says.

The Washington Examiner is reaching out to DCPS for comment.

Mayor Vincent Gray announced this week that he is planning to increase per-pupil funding for the schools by 2 percent.

According to documents, DCPS is planning to increase the amount of psychologists at all school levels, and add more guidance counselors at the high-school level.

The school system also has budgeted for four new pre-kindergarten classrooms, at Leckie, Orr, Peabody and Amidon-Bowen elementaries.

Hardy and Kelly Miller middle schools are set to receive extra funding for the start of a new gifted-and-talented program, as first reported by The Examiner.

Preliminary budgets for each of DCPS's individual schools are publicly available, and principals have until March 7 to petition DCPS for changes.

Gray is scheduled to submit his budget to the D.C. Council on March 23.

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