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California Budget Cuts = Much Less School

Updated on August 17, 2011

For most California schools from K-12, local districts have had to make deep cuts into their operating budgets. Even at the college level, many classes are not offered although tuition and books skyrocket. Some school districts have fared better than others due to their local economies and this allows some school districts to avoid making cuts. Among the list of cuts most have made in the State (cuts in teachers, services, sports, music, choir, library) the worse is in the number of days of instruction for the coming school year.

It use to be that a typical school year was 9+ months long. In our local district, Sonoma County, the school year is 175 days long. While this may appear fine, the actual number of fulltime days of instruction, 8-2:30 pm, is really only 125 days or 6.25 months. This is due to 50 half days, 8-12:30. All because of the California State and local budget issues. Let's face it, every Wednesday is a half day, and many subjects and time to teach is either cut short or not at all. Thus, not a lot of instruction occurs on those days. Also because of the cuts, now students receive a full week off for Thanksgiving and a whopping 14 days off for Christmas (up from 7 days last year). At Easter, they are off another 5 days.

The increase in the number of half days is simply extraordinary from last year, not only do the students suffer but parents suddenly find themselves having to deal with these half days and are a great inconvenience making finding daycare a big issue.

It would be interesting to hear from others across the globe about the number of days of FT instruction other students receive, minus holidays and half days. California cannot continue to cut education as they have to balance the budget.


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    • perrya profile image

      perrya 6 years ago

      SSU(Sonoma State University)professors are striking, but the bottom line is monetary resources, or the lack of them.

    • msviolets profile image

      msviolets 6 years ago

      Instructional time is just a drop in the bucket. Our schools are having to cut costs right and left. This year, they didn't buy paper. Parents supplied it. And when it ran low, the teachers fought over the last ream.

      School libraries are closed most of the week and may not open at all next year.

      Class sizes are rising. Support staff (aids) are shrinking.

      All extra curriculars that once were covered by the school are now charged for; including music and some GATE programs.

    • swordsbane profile image

      William Grant 6 years ago from Wisconsin

      Budget cuts on education are always political. There are so many other, more appropriate area's to cut a budget before education, it is laughable. The only reason they do it is because they can, because the public will let them. Sure, they will grumble and a few politicians will be blamed when it happens, but come the next election, all will be forgotten amid the campaign or if it will be remembered at all, it will be subject to the infamous finger-pointing that goes on during elections.

      And then there are comments like tamarindcandy, who think that because education already sucks, we really don't need it. Good show... you are officially part of the problem. Good luck with that.

    • myriadmom profile image

      myriadmom 6 years ago from Hilo, Hawai'i Island

      Great hub. Sad to see that we're not the only state that has attempted to balance the budget on the backs of children.

      I can assure you, even a few days cut is a great loss to the education of children on every level from social to academic. We've already been through it for two school years and there's a large difference in retention, social behavior and health, the latter because many school children receive free or reduced meals. If there's no school, there's no meal at least twice a day.

    • tamarindcandy profile image

      tamarindcandy 6 years ago

      Considering the average public school quality, I'm not sure if anything of value was lost.

    • Clarke Stevens profile image

      Will Mays 6 years ago from North Kingstown, RI, United States

      Some might say that many public schools have already shut down. The length of the school day is just one factor. Looking around the globe is a great idea. How do schools around the globe measure quality? Are there low cost models that produce high quality results?

      Thanks for this Hub, Perry. It's likely that these issues will soon be coming to a school near each of us.

    • profile image

      Howard Schneider 6 years ago from Parsippany, New Jersey

      Local governments need to find other ways to cut spending or raise revenues. We cannot continue to short change our children. They are our future and education is key to it.We need longer school years not shorter.