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Jud Aaron, parent of a third-grader at Meredith School, described his concern about the likely impact of split-grade classrooms in testimony to the School Reform Commission May 9, in which he called for the District not to reduce the budget at his school.

“Meredith school will lose a full-time classroom teacher next year. The loss of that teacher will result in the second and third grade classes being combined into a single class. The combining of classes will result in one teacher struggling to teach both a mandatory second-grade curriculum and a mandatory third-grade curriculum, to students of vastly different academic skill levels, in the very same classroom, at the very same time.

“Imagine this: one teacher struggling to teach basic addition and subtraction to second-graders at the very same time she is teaching fractions and basic geometry to third graders. One teacher struggling to teach basic grammar to second graders at the very same time she is teaching compound sentence structure to third graders. One teacher struggling to prepare third-graders for the all-important PSSAs, although half of her class does not even take those tests.

“As a result of next year's budget cuts, our second and third graders will attend the equivalent of a one-room schoolhouse. This is a recipe for academic failure. Parents with options will opt out; parents without options will simply despair.”

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