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Letter: Funding, smaller class sizes needed for improved education

August 12, 2018

Education: It is the key to greater opportunity, giving young people the skills and knowledge they need to succeed in life. However, it is not hard to see that our public schools are underfunded.

As someone who attended the Rochester public schools, I have experienced this firsthand. Not only has funding for extracurricular programs become so reduced that fundraising has become a necessity for some programs to simply continue running, but staff have been losing their jobs. At the same time, class sizes have increased.

A study of how class size affects achievement from the Center of Public Education states that classrooms of no more than 18 students had the best results of classroom achievement, and that low-income students and minority students had an even greater chance at achievement when placed in a smaller classroom in the primary grades.

We need leaders who take these issues seriously. Candidates with firsthand classroom experience — such as Dan Feehan, who taught as a middle school math teacher, and Jamie Mahlberg, who’s taught at RCTC for more than a decade — are best equipped to strengthen our education system.

Meghan Jirik, Rochester

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