Implications for Equity, Practice, and Implementation


In 1996, CA launched a $1 billion class size reduction (CSR) initiative to improve early literacy. The initiative provides $800 per student to schools reducing class size to 20 or fewer in first, second, and/or third grade, and kindergarten. CSR was funded due to a state revenue surplus and the belief that smaller classes would enhance early literacy. CA ranked second to last in national reading tests in 1994, and class sizes averaged around 28.6 students per K-3 classroom. While educators and the public show enthusiasm, the success of CSR in enhancing academic achievement is yet to be seen.