Teachers – Class Size Reduction 66% ($16.3 million)
The bulk of the BSEP tax money goes to keeping class sizes as small as possible, so teachers can give maximum individual attention to students. In 2013-14, class sizes throughout the district average 20 in grades kindergarten through 3rd grade, 26 in grades 4-5, and 28 in grades 6-12. BSEP pays for over 30% of Berkeley’s classroom teachers. Providing smaller class sizes, as well as other intensive programs, would be impossible without BSEP.
School Enrichment Programs 10.25% ($2.5 million)
Over $220/student goes directly to each school to provide programs chosen by the School Governance Council (SGC), comprised of parents, staff, and the principal.These programs encompass both academic and enriched experiential learning, in such areas as art, science, PE, after-school tutoring, counseling, sports, student activities, and more.The SGC is also responsible for allocating other funds, so all the school-based funds can be spent according to a comprehensive plan to support the achievement of all students.
Music, Visual and Performing Arts Programs 6.25% ($1.5 million)
BSEP is the sole source of funds for the 4th through 8th grade music program. Music teachers provide instrumental music education for all children in grades four and five, and for many in grades six through eight as “0” period classes. Instruments are loaned to every music student without charge. BSEP funds also support other visual and performing arts, as well as concerts and festivals.
School Libraries 7.25% ($1.8 million)
Every school has a well-staffed and well-stocked library. BSEP is the sole funding source for the district library program, providing books, computers, electronic databases and other materials, librarians in all middle schools and the high schools, library media technicians in the elementary and middle schools, and a districtwide library coordinator.
Professional Development; Research, Evaluation, and Assessment; and Technology for Schools 9% ($2.2 million)
These funds are dedicated to providing professional development for the District’s teachers and staff, to assessing the effectiveness of the District’s educational programs for improving student achievement, and to providing and maintaining computers and technology in schools.
Parent Outreach 1.25% ($300,000)
The district is committed to supporting students’ families in their efforts to have greater access to and involvement in their children’s education. BSEP funds support personnel dedicated to these goals, focusing particularly on addressing and removing barriers so that underserved families can better participate in their students’ education.
Public Information and Oversight ($500,000)
Before the BSEP tax revenues are distributed for the purposes described above, two percent of the revenues received by the District from this tax are allocated to funding the Public Information Officer, communications to parents and the community, maintaining the district website, translation, and to supporting the citizens’ oversight committee, the BSEP Planning and Oversight Committee and School Governance Councils.