Posts Tagged ‘LAUSD’

California’s Budget Deficit = No Summer School?

Saturday, May 30th, 2009

Yesterday’s LA Times had a front-page article:  “L.A. cancels most summer school classes.”  We all know California voters resoundingly rejected state ballot measures.  State legislators, left with a a $21.3 billion deficit, are considering the governor’s proposal to cut $5.3 billion from public school districts and community colleges. Los Angeles  Unified will grapple with a $272 million deficit next year.

The impact of this budget deficit is severe and immediate. LAUSD announced it has cancelled the bulk of its summer school classes.  The LA  Times quotes Superintendent O’Connell:  “For kids who want to take challenging courses, for kids who need basic courses in order to graduate, these choices will contribute toward the dropout rate and we will have a less competent workforce.”

No one wants more high school dropouts (already a staggering 30% in California) or a less competent workforce.  We also want our children to take challenging courses that their schedule might not allow during the school year.  We also want them to graduate on time. 

My son would not have graduated with his class had he not taken an American History class in summer school.  This omission was discovered at the eleventh hour.  Had he not graduated with his class,  he would not have been able to participate in a yearlong student exchange program in Costa Rica before college.   He would also have had to delay his entrance to the university at least a semester.  Would the university have agreed?

Summer school also is invaluable in improving the skills of marginal students.  According to Dr. Mitchell Wong of Act4Education,  “Data shows that students lose a lot of ground in terms of learning during  the summer months.” (LA Times)

Students and parents counting on summer school this summer have few options.   California’s budget woes will continue.  What are we doing to prevent this from happening year after year?   Summer school provides all our students opportunities whether to learn or maintain basic skills, catch up or advance.    Our children deserve the opportunties summer school offers.