Palace Chrysler-Jeep

Enrollment higher than expected

But no teacher contract yet

August 27, 2014 - Clarkston Board of Education voted unanimously, Aug. 25, to hire two new Kindergarten teachers, for Springfield Plains and North Sashabaw elementary schools.

The hiring takes care of the only two contract-overload classes in the district, said Deputy Superintendent Shawn Ryan.

"That's not the place we want to have high class sizes," Ryan said. "We appreciate the board approving the two new positions."

With summer enrollments complete, the district is looking at a total loss of 12 students, compared to last year. At last year's state per-pupil funding of $7,082, that equals $84,984. They estimated a loss of 70 students when calculating this year's budget, a loss of $495,740.

"We're trending in the right direction," Ryan said. "The housing market is strong people moving into Clarkston."

According to Ryan's report, total enrollment this year is 7,782 students, with 3,124 in Kindergarten through grade 5, and 4,658 in grades 6-12. Over the summer, 245 new students enrolled, and 110 left the district.

District wide, the average class size is 25.01 students, down from 26.20 last year. Kindergarten is the only grade level to increase, from 21.7 last year to 23.32 students this year.

No teacher contract yet

Negotiations continue between Clarkston Education Association and administration. Several teachers attended Monday's school board meeting and spoke out during public comment.

Teacher Beth Rogers said teacher pay cuts they agreed to over the years should be restored.

"We want to feel valued by you and we don't because we've been frozen," Rogers said. "People are suffering."

Superintendent Dr. Rod Rock said the contract negotiation process is continuing.

"We're working through the process," Rock said.

Phil is editor for The Clarkston News. He is a veteran of the first Iraq war, having served in the U.S. Army.
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