Smaller classes in St. Paul schools mean less room for diversity

Monday, April 28, 2014

That initiative, Re­flect­ing St. Paul, was launched this school year and seeks to open seats in 11 schools to stu­dents from neighborhoods with low­er in­comes, high­er per­cent­ages of non-Eng­lish-speak­ing families and low­er test scores.

Under the program, the stu­dents, many from mi­nor­i­ty groups, are en­ti­tled to one-fifth of the avail­able seats in each school. A­vail­a­bil­i­ty hing­es on how many seats remain open af­ter first be­ing al­lo­cat­ed to chil­dren liv­ing within each of the re­spec­tive school com­mu­ni­ties.

With the new class-size lim­its, however, the schools had fewer seats to be­gin with in plan­ning for the 2014-15 school year. For Re­flect­ing St. Paul, in particular, the school-choice lottery results, as of last week, reveal a 41 percent de­cline in stu­dent place­ment at the 11 schools — from 378 stu­dents in April 2013 to 222 stu­dents this year.

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