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The Demon Tattler

40 Students, One Teacher — Who Does It Hurt?

Sayra Armendariz, Author

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This year, Santa Fe High School has the largest freshman class in four years. There are 492 freshmen, including 97 interzone transfers. There are normally around 391. According to Principal Marano, the number of students that can fit at Santa Fe High is around 1,700; this year we have 1,566.

There are 88 full-time classroom teachers (FTE), including four who have decided to sell their prep periods, according to Principal Marano. The teachers already have a hard job, but to top it off they are having to give up their free period to accommodate the high number of students.

SFHS is overpopulated this year because there are not enough FTE. Another reason for this issue is that many teachers have not even been asked to give up their prep period.

The largest classes are approximately 40 students, which forces teachers to deal with a lot of issues. They are not able to cater to all the students’ education as well as they would with a small class.

One teacher who prefers to remain anonymous expressed the difficulties of having such a large class: ¨Everyone needs one on one at some point. It’s difficult to give it to them, and it gets loud. It’s hard to feel like a working environment.¨ The teacher added that it gets crowded and it’s hard to get around the room.

Kids complained of the lack of attention or the distractions that occur during instruction.

Giovanni Armenta Ayala, a student who is in some large classes, said, “There are too many kids, and it is hard to pay attention to the teachers.”

With overpopulated classes, students may have trouble getting settled, and once the class gets off topic, it’s hard to get them back to focus on what they were originally doing.

However, one student who prefers to remain anonymous said, “I prefer large classes because the teacher doesn’t pay close attention to me.”

Why aren’t there more teachers working as FTE? Because our budget can’t afford any more teachers this year, Principal Marano said. Even though the state gives the school money for each student and we have more students this year, it isn’t enough to support more full-time salaries.

Another question involves the new construction being planned for the campus, beginning with a new Student Services building. Why can’t this money go toward hiring more teachers?

Mr. Marano explained that schools cannot use the funds allocated for construction to employ more FTE. The school is given budgets for different areas, and it cannot dip into another budget to supplement other areas that might need more funding.

Therefore, it is not an issue of misappropriation of funds, but rather an issue of insufficient funding for certain aspects of the school.

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40 Students, One Teacher — Who Does It Hurt?