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K-3 Class Size Reduction program history and summarized data.
Goal

The goal of the K-3 Class Size Reduction (CSR) Program is to increase student achievement, particularly in reading and mathematics, by decreasing the size of K-3 classes to 20 or fewer students per certificated teacher.

Legal References

California Education Code sections 52120 - 52128 External link opens in new window or tab.

Funding Levels

The CSR Program (Chapter 163, Statutes of 1996) and the CSR Facilities Funding Program (Chapter 164, Statutes of 1996) represent the single largest appropriation ever -- nearly one billion dollars for the initial year -- for educational reform. In 1996-97, $771 million was allocated for operation costs (hiring teachers) and $200 million was allocated separately for school facilities to districts that implemented CSR. To fully implement, the CSR Program requires an annual allocation of approximately $1.7 billion. In 1996-97, school districts received $650 for each pupil enrolled in a class of 20 or fewer in grades K-3 (only three grade levels per school could participate in the first year). Districts operating a half-day program of smaller classes received $325 per pupil. In 1997-98, school districts received $800 per pupil for the full day program (Option One) and $400 per pupil for the half-day program (Option Two). The law now provides an annual increase equivalent to the statutory cost of living allowance. In 2004-05, school districts receive $928 per pupil in an Option One class and $464 per pupil in an Option Two class.

Basic Program Requirements

The CSR Program is a voluntary program. The state provides per pupil funding for each child in grades K-3 who receives instruction in a class of 20 or fewer pupils. The program has two options. Option One provides full funding for pupils who receive the 20-to-1 instruction all day and Option Two provides half funding for pupils who receive the 20-to-1 instruction for half of the instructional minutes per day. All pupils must receive this instruction from a certificated teacher, not an instructional aide. Each CSR class must be in a separate, self-contained classroom or the equivalent square footage provided before CSR. Although classes may occasionally exceed 20 pupils without penalty, in order to receive funding each class must maintain an average of 20.4 pupils or less.

Participation Data

1996-97 - 839 districts participated (94%) - 56 districts did not participate
Grade
Pupils
Percentage
Classes
Kindergarten 64,779 pupils
(14%)
in 3,736 classes
Grade 1 428,242 pupils
(88%)
in 22,533 classes
Grade 2 262,074 pupils
(57%)
in 13,831 classes
Grade 3 79,062 pupils
(18%)
in 4,223 classes
Combination Classes 121,176 pupils N/A in 7,289 classes

1997-98 - 875 districts participated (98%) - 20 districts did not participate
Grade
Pupils
Percentage
Classes
Kindergarten 321,209 pupils
(69%)
in 18,098 classes
Grade 1 484,518 pupils
(99%)
in 22,004 classes
Grade 2 468,103 pupils
(96%)
in 20,622 classes
Grade 3 309,828 pupils
(67%)
in 14,226 classes
Combination Classes 8,085 pupils
N/A
in 11,166 classes

1998-99 - 883 districts participated (99%) - 13 districts did not participate
Grade
Pupils
Percentage
Classes
Kindergarten 393,036 pupils
(86%)
in 20,327 classes
Grade 1 483,714 pupils
(99%)
in 22,021 classes
Grade 2 475,477 pupils
(98%)
in 20,932 classes
Grade 3 410,089 pupils
(84%)
in 19,000 classes
Combination Classes 8,681 pupils
N/A
in 12,213 classes

1999-00 - 886 districts participated (99%) - 9 districts did not participate
Grade
Pupils
Percentage
Classes
Kindergarten 439,439 pupils
(96%)
in 22,486 classes
Grade 1 480,307 pupils
(99%)
in 22,229 classes
Grade 2 475,702 pupils
(97%)
in 21,399 classes
Grade 3 458,040 pupils
(91%)
in 21,617 classes
Combination Classes 8,989 pupils
N/A
in 11,093 classes

2000-01 - 886 districts participated (99%) - 9 districts did not participate
Grade
Pupils
Percentage
Classes
Kindergarten 439,439 pupils
(96%)
in 22,486 classes
Grade 1 480,307 pupils
(99%)
in 22,229 classes
Grade 2 475,702 pupils
(97%)
in 21,399 classes
Grade 3 458,040 pupils
(91%)
in 21,617 classes
Combination Classes 8,989 pupils N/A in 11,093 classes

2001-02 - 881 districts participated (99%) - 6 districts did not participate
Grade
Pupils
Percentage
Classes
Kindergarten 436,647 pupils
(96%)
in 21,999 classes
Grade 1 480,416 pupils
(98%)
in 22,028 classes
Grade 2 477,350 pupils
(97%)
in 21,555 classes
Grade 3 451,030 pupils
(92%)
in 21,209 classes
Combination Classes 8,233 pupils N/A in 11,741 classes

2002-03 - 886 districts participated (99%) - 7 districts did not participate
Grade
Pupils
Percentage
Classes
Kindergarten
430,403 pupils
(94%)
in 22,245 classes
Grade 1
472,968 pupils
(97%)
in 22,311 classes
Grade 2
477,398 pupils
(98%)
in 22,519 classes
Grade 3
458,873 pupils
(93%)
in 22,364 classes
Combination Classes
7,559 pupils
N/A
in 8,671 classes

2003-04 - 895 districts participated (99%) - 13 districts did not participate
Grade
Pupils
Percentage
Classes
Kindergarten
429,038 pupils
(94%)
in 22,594 classes
Grade 1
464,685 pupils
(97%)
in 22,048 classes
Grade 2
462,385 pupils
(96%)
in 21,720 classes
Grade 3
423,456 pupils
(86%)
in 20,649 classes
Combination Classes
5,729 pupils
N/A
in 7,756 classes

2004-05 - 891 districts participated (99%) - 10 districts did not participate
Grade
Pupils
Percentage
Classes
Kindergarten
427,891 pupils
(94%)
in 22,729 classes
Grade 1
460,934 pupils
(97%)
in 22,203 classes
Grade 2
452,560 pupils
(95%)
in 21,635 classes
Grade 3
416,585 pupils
(87%)
in 20,562 classes
Combination Classes
4,875 pupils
N/A
in 6,915 classes

2005-06 - 882 districts participated (99%) - 8 districts did not participate
Grade
Pupils
Percentage
Classes
Kindergarten
423,508 pupils
(100%)
in 22,500 classes
Grade 1
463,586 pupils
(106%)
in 22,696 classes
Grade 2
447,152 pupils
(103%)
in 21,612 classes
Grade 3
407,979 pupils
(94%)
in 20,268 classes
Combination Classes
4,194 pupils
N/A
in 6,520 classes

2006-07 - 877 districts participated (99%) - 10 districts did not participate
Grade
Pupils
Percentage
Classes
Kindergarten
417,994 pupils
(92%)
in 22,317 classes
Grade 1
458,421 pupils
(96%)
in 22,587 classes
Grade 2
440,467 pupils
(95%)
in 21,455 classes
Grade 3
403,590 pupils
(86%)
in 20,207 classes
Combination Classes
3,552 pupils
N/A
in 5,997 classes
Facilities Data
1996-97
  • 13,689 teaching stations were funded @ $25,000 each = $342,225,000
  • An additional $577,500 was allocated to eligible school districts to accommodate snow load requirements for 154 of these teaching stations

1997-98
  • 4,717 teaching stations were funded @$40,000 each = $188,680,000
  • A second round of 1997-98 funding from Assembly Bill 1746 (Escutia) and Proposition 1A funded 1,845 stations @ $40,000 each = $73,800,000
  • $49,148,438 for severely overcrowded districts was approved by the State Board of Education for the Multitrack Year-Round Education (MTYRE) Waiver authorized under Assembly BIll 751 (Escutia). Funding for these districts was authorized under Assembly Bill 1746

1998-99
  • 1,663 teaching stations were funded @ $40,000 each = $66,520,000
  • A second round of 1998-99 funding from Proposition 1A funded 2,196 teaching stations @ $40,000 each = $87,840,000

Class Size Reduction Evaluation

The California Department of Education (CDE) awarded the contract for the statewide evaluation of the K-3 CSR Program to the CSR Research Consortium External link opens in new window or tab. . The partnership is led by the American Institutes for Research External link opens in new window or tab. (AIR) and the RAND Corporation External link opens in new window or tab. . It includes as subcontractors Policy Analysis for California Education External link opens in new window or tab. (PACE), WestEd External link opens in new window or tab. , and EdSource External link opens in new window or tab. . The California Educational Research Cooperative at the University of California, Riverside also collaborated on this research project. The evaluation was mandated by Senate Bill 1777, the legislation that authorized the CSR Program, and is based on a research plan adopted by the State Board of Education in November 1997.

The evaluation was conducted over four years beginning in May 1998 and ending with a report to the Governor and legislature in June 2002. The research team employed a variety of data gathering methods. These include surveys of district administrators, school principals, teachers, and parents; in-class observations of reduced and non-reduced classes; use of standard test scores; and administration of supplemental tests of reading for first grade students. The team also used existing data including SABE/2 scores (a Spanish language test of educational achievement) from a sample of districts with large proportions of Spanish speaking students, and the CSR database and California Basic Education Data System (CBEDS) data files from the CDE.

The first annual report of the CSR Program was released in June 1999.

Questions: Rebecca Lee | relee@cde.ca.gov | 916-324-4533 
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