School Advocacy Group Holds Rally In Manchester

Sep 22, 2012

Parents, teachers, and students gather in Veterans Park
Credit Jonathan Lynch / NHPR

Concerned parents, teachers, and children held a rally in Manchester Saturday to protest the state of the Manchester school district. At least 200 people showed up to the rally at Veterans Memorial Park.

The event was organized by Citizens for Manchester Schools, a group formed in response to a budget shortfall that prompted the school district to lay off close to 150 teachers.

One of the group’s chief concerns is the burgeoning average class size in Manchester, with some classes reaching over 40 students.

Ron Kew is a former vice principal of the Gossler Park School in Manchester and still sends his children to Manchester schools.

Kew says that Manchester’s class sizes make it unfair for both teachers and students:

“I have to tell you, when you have that many kids in a classroom – I’ve been a principal for a while and an administrator – when you have that many kids, there’s just so much a teacher can do with 40 kids in a classroom.”

Kew added that, despite Manchester being one of the largest school districts in New Hampshire, its per-pupil spending ranks second lowest in the state.