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Mr.  Darron  Franklin
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School Choice and Teacher Allocations

During these tough economic times, legislators decided that class sizes needed to increase to save funding typically allocated for additional teachers.  At Turner, we are also facing regulations with school choice, which means that schools offering choice must surrender teachers if our students opt to go somewhere else instead of their home school due to failure to make Adequate Yearly Progress.  Well, we had approximately 80 parents and students that decided to attend another middle school; therefore, we have to lose teachers, because teachers must go where the students go.  As a principal, I was given three options:

•1.      Solicit volunteers to go to another middle school to teach mathematics

•2.      Send the last hired math teacher to another middle school

•3.      Keep all of our teachers using Title 1 funding

These were the exact options offered to Turner faculty; however, I declined option # 2 up front and allowed any volunteer to willingly go to another middle school, and I also expressed that all teachers could stay and I'd simply pay our extra teacher's salary through Title 1 funding. 

Losing teachers always impacts classroom sizes, schedules, and programs.  In this instance a teacher volunteered, and the teacher is one of our gifted teachers.  That means we need another gifted teacher to accommodate for our loss; however, our other gifted teachers are already at maximum class sizes.  We are currently endorsing and training two additional teachers to be gifted certified, but their certification will not take effect until next school year.

The solution to the problem is not going to be as palatable to some as for others, but it's the only option we have at this time when we have a voluntary transfer.  However, we will reassign our gifted students to our best teachers and ensure that our teachers differentiate instruction and continue to provide the rigor found in our gifted classes in order to prepare students for IB classes offered in high school.  Furthermore, we will seek ways to utilize our Title 1 funding to provide gifted services to our students.  I am looking for some parents and guardians to serve on my Title 1 school committee.  This committee will help me effectively budget Title 1 funding for instruction at Turner Middle School.  Please contact me if you're interested in assisting in this effort.

Thank you!