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The Student News Site of Klein Collins High School

Legacy Press

The Student News Site of Klein Collins High School

Legacy Press

The Student News Site of Klein Collins High School

Legacy Press

State Grant Creates 12 New Positions

A $7.2 million grant Klein ISD received from the Texas Education Agency created 12 new positions at the school this summer.The grant financed by the federal government as a part of the Education Jobs Fund program authorized in Public Law No. 111-226 (Act.) was signed by President Obama on Aug. 10, 2010. This law provides assistance to states for the creation or salvation of education jobs.

“It’s reducing class size[s], so we hope that with smaller classes that the students are getting more individual attention, so that they are more successful,” principal Randy Kirk said. “[Also] some of those additional teachers may be sponsoring clubs and organizations so it’s helping those types of things.”

According to the TEA website, Texas received $830,820,460 from the fund which was distributed throughout the districts in the state based on the weighted average daily attendance as of May 2011.

“Klein [ISD] received a portion of that,” Kirk said. “With that decisions were made on how to utilize the money. So then we were told we were getting these EduJobs. Human Resources told us exactly how many we were getting and the areas we had to utilize those [in].”

After analyzing academic data, Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skill test data and teacher-student ratios, the district committee comprised of central office and instructional administrators distributed the teaching positions among the campuses district associate superintendent Dr. Susan Borg said.

“The focus has been the ninth grade because we’re starting with the [State of Texas Assessment of Academic Readiness] test for high schoolers which will be their end of course exam and this year it only affects the new ninth graders,” EOC specialist Elizabeth Alambaugh said.

The EOC exams prompted the creation of Alambaugh’s position.

“What I am doing is finding out information about the end of course test [and] working with the ninth grade teachers in preparing for the test,” Alambaugh said. “[I am] making sure that we’re currently testing at the level of difficulty where we need to be so the kids will be ready when the test comes around.”

EduJob teacher Scott Holliday said he agrees with the committee’s placement of the teachers.

“The focus on the students that are taking the STAAR is good because the test matters because it’s public,” Holliday, who teaches freshman English, said. “People are going to look at how Klein [did]. People don’t usually do what’s expected, they do what’s evaluated and this is an evaluation. Klein wants to look good, and they should.”

Furthermore, the small class ratios benefit both students and teachers, Holliday said.

“I am able to monitor the kids easier,” Holliday said. “I can tell when students aren’t understanding what’s going on [and] I can go give them more assistance. Also, classroom management is a little better [because] it’s easier to contain students if there [are] only 22 students instead of 28.”

As of now, these smaller classes only apply to the current school year as the grant is valid until August 2012 according to the TEA website.

“We hope [to keep the teachers] but we don’t know at this point,” Kirk said. “We’re hoping that there will be funds to keep those positions but we don’t know. That will be a decision made later on.”

However, according to Alumbaugh, the positive feedback being received in the district central office encourages hope.

“I know that there [has] been talk among the people in central office that have come in and have heard good, positive feedback from all the high schools in [the district] that the smaller classes have been beneficial as far as getting to every student and giving them more one-on-one,” Alumbaugh said. “They have said that they will take that into consideration when finding funding to hire additional teachers to keep those sizes smaller.”

Borg said there are still EduJobs available at all levels in Klein ISD.

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