Arrow-right Camera

Washington Voices

CV Board Seeks Ways To Ease Overcrowded Classes

Central Valley School Board members will meet Monday to mull a solution to the district’s overflowing classrooms, including a possible bond issue.

The meeting begins at 5:30 p.m. at the district offices, E19307 Cataldo. The future of CV’s special education program also is on the agenda.

On the crowding front, Monday’s workshop will be the latest brainstorming session in a three-year guessing game for school district officials.

Four proposed bond issues that would have provided money to alleviate the district’s lack of classrooms have failed at the polls in recent years.

But, during the same time period, dozens of housing projects within the district have been approved by Spokane County commissioners, so the school crowding problem grows worse.

As a short-term solution, Central Valley has been busing some students from their neighborhoods to schools in other areas of the district that have extra space.

Kids from Greenacres Elementary, for instance, are bused several miles away to attend University Elementary, said Skip Bonuccelli, district spokesman.

“We bus them all over,” Bonuccelli said.

Board members and district officials recently have discussed several long-term solutions, including year-round schooling, double-shifting at elementary schools and purchasing expensive portable classrooms.

The latest round of talks will focus primarily on a fifth bond try, said CV superintendent Dick Sovde.

A recent proposal calls for asking district patrons for a bond that would pay for a new elementary school at Liberty Lake and remodeling at Bowdish Junior High, Sovde said.

School board member Linda Tompkins said those talks are still in their infancy, although another bond try of some kind is likely.

“We’re still just in the real information gathering mode,” Tompkins said. “But I can’t imagine that we’d be able to do it in any way other than bonds, maybe a series of smaller bonds.”

No timetable has been set.

Board members also will hear a presentation on the status of the district’s nearly $6 million special education program and how it may be affected by federal regulations now being considered.

Sovde said some major changes could be coming in the special education program, which is in place to help students with physical and mental problems.

“Just what form that’s going to take remains to be seen,” the superintendent said. “I just don’t know.”

Wayne Hagood, director of the district’s special ed program, said potential regulations include requiring districts to reduce the time disabled students are segregated from the general student body.

New funding mechanisms for special education programs also are being discussed, Hagood said.

“If you’re in education, it’s a very interesting and changing area,” he said.

Tags: education