The actual cost is $5.6 MM to run the program. Why would PUSD threaten to cut the difference of $1.6 MM and therefore lose the guaranteed $4.0 MM in order to balance their budget? You guessed it. To extort votes for passing a PARCEL TAX! If you don't believe this is the case, then find on the PUSD web site the following question and answer.
"Isn’t class size reduction funded by the state?
Since its inception, class size reduction (CSR) has never been fully funded by the state. The number of teachers it takes to meet the requirement of 20 students per teacher has always cost more than the funding received from the state. In Pleasanton, we receive about $4 million to support the program for grades K through 3. The actual cost is $5.6 million. By eliminating CSR for these grades, we would save $1.6 million from the general fund. The unfortunate part is that we would also lose the access to the $4 million from the state. At this writing, in order to realize a savings, we would have to eliminate CSR at an entire grade level—there is no option to increase class sizes a little (like to 25) and still receive funding. "
Now here is what SavePleasantonSchools writes on their web site about this issue:
"I’ve heard that the district gets millions of state dollars for the Class Size Reduction (CSR) program. Why is the district cutting it? Is this a scare tactic to get a “YES” vote on Measure G?
It is true that annually, Pleasanton Unified receives $4 million dollars from the state for the CSR program. However, it requires approximately $6 million dollars to adequately fund the CSR program. PUSD provides the remaining $2 million dollars. This $2 million is equally divided amongst K-3 and 9th grade to the tune of $400,000 per grade level. Since the state’s cuts to education are so severe, it is necessary to make cuts to all programs beyond the basic required classroom ratio come Fall of 2009."
If you throw out the $400,000 for the 9th grade (everyone is emotional about K-3), you get the same numbers as the PUSD website FAQ, $1.6 MM must be added to the $4 MM from the state. Nowhere is there stated that the $4 MM from the state is not coming into the district because of funding cuts.
SO WHY IN THE WORLD OUT OF A BUDGET OF $120 MM IS PUSD THREATENING TO PULL $1.6 MM (1.3 percent) AWAY FROM CLASS SIZE REDUCTIONS FOR K-3?
The answer: to extort votes for passing a parcel tax. No one in their right mind in business in the private sector would cut contribution to a co-funding arrangement where the co-funder supplies such a high proportion of the funding. (Note the SPS web site answer begins with "it is true".)