Budget Crisis Closes Summer School Programs

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

SACRAMENTO, CA - In the last two weeks several Sacramento Valley school districts have reduced summer school classes or eliminated them entirely.

School officials said they waited until what seemed like the last minute because they hoped to find out how much money they were going to get from the state.

With no budget deal in sight Sacramento City Unified School District officials said the budget deficit forced them to severely curtail their summer school program. Spokesperson Maria Lopez said, "Since 2002-2003, we've cut more than $110 million. This year alone we cut $40 million."

The summer school reduction will save another $2 million. Lopez said, "What is gone is the regular education program for our elementary and middle students. About 550 students will be affected."

The district will have classes for high school students who need credits or need to pass the exit exam for graduation. A special summer school for Hmong and Laotian students who are learning English will still be available. The culturally based classed will cost the district $53,500.

Last week Vacaville schools officials decided they would only offer summer school classes to students who flunked math and English in the eighth and 12th grades.

Summer school has been completely eliminated in the Marysville, Eureka Union and Roseville City school districts. All cite a lack of money as the reason.

Some parents wondered if their child can attend classes in Sacramento. "We will put other students on our waiting list. We have to take care of our students first," Lopez said.

She added before bringing in extra students, the district has to make sure it could afford teachers and other staff members that would be needed for additional classes.

School officials told News10 that concerned parents in districts where summer school has been cut, should enroll thier children in another district and do it soon.


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