Class size conundrum
Oregon's fourth-largest district is far from the state's worst in terms of class size. But of the state's five biggest districts, Hillsboro's high school classes average among the largest.
The district has not regained its financial footing since it made large budget cuts two years ago when the state cut school support 9 percent in 2002-03. The district faced unexpected wage claims. The school board made what turned out to be a costly construction decision. And unlike Portland, Beaverton and Eugene, Hillsboro failed to persuade voters to pass a local-option levy.
Big class sizes are a problem. The schools and the Fishwrapper would have you believe that more money is the only solution. But what is Hillsboro School District doing with the money they have? Hiring teachers? Or hiring various "specialists"?
Hillsboro School District Job Titles List
A couple of my favorites:
Attendance Intervention Specialist - "Because the vice principal can't be bothered." The Attendance Specialist will provide effective follow-up on students who are non-attendees or irregular attendees of school.
Hispanic Outreach - "Because reaching out to one race is appropriate." The Hispanic Outreach will assist in planning and implementing activities designed to include the Hispanic parent community in school District governence, increase involvement, reduce isolation, and develop trust to improve student achievement.
Bus Seat Repair Worker - "For when regular maintenance is on lunch break" This position is responsible for the repair and maintenance of bus seats.
Nutrition Services Assistant / Nutrition Services Office Assistant / Nutrition Services Bilingual Office Assistant - "Why should just one person shoulder all the burden?" Specialize in Free and Reduced Application process for all schools in the District. / Assists... / Assists but in Spanish...
Bilingual Department Secretary - "The secretary who speaks Spanish gets her own job title." Provides secretarial support for Department Head.
Teacher: Gang Prevention - "Maybe law enforcement will teach reading, writing, and arithmetic?" *Open to In-District Pesonnel Only. Summer, 2005 Dates TBD. 70 Hrs Teaching at $31.80. 20 Hrs Prep at $24.99. Willing to be trained in Gang Prevention.
If you look at the whole list you notice some patterns, there are 3 kinds of "Bilingual Assistants," 9 kinds of "Custodians," 16 different kinds of "Secretaries" (not including the 2 clerical assistants) and at least 5 kinds of "Superintendents." Keep in mind that these are just the job titles, I have no idea how many people have the individual positions. There may be 15 Bilingual Department Secretaries.
The Hillsboro School Board has also recommended that the district operate a "2005 Migrant Education Summer School." I'm assuming that legal American citizens need not apply.
It's also interesting to note that the school district has paid out $9,600,607 in teacher benefits so far this fiscal year while paying $7,270,742 in support benefits in the same time period.
So while the Fishwrapper may say that the Hillsboro School District's large class sizes are because "Hillsboro failed to persuade voters to pass a local-option levy" I would say that it is because instead of hiring teacher's the district hires support staff and administrators. Oh, and because Hillsboro is a bastion for illegal immigrants.