State Budget Woes Mean Sac City Unified Could Cut School Days

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(Sacramento, CA)
Thursday, May 21, 2009

The special election is over, and the full pain of the state’s financial mess is now starting to trickle down to the local level.  Governor Schwarzenegger has proposed cutting seven days worth of state funding from each district – from 180 down to 173.  And while some districts might be able to scrounge up enough money to make up for that gap, others won’t.
Barentson: “I think we actually may be in better shape than some districts.” 
Tom Barentson is the Sacramento City Unified School District’s chief financial officer.  He says a combination of reserves and federal stimulus funds gives Sac City a leg up, but eliminating school days is a very real option.
Barentson: “The students have a lot on their plate, with all the state standards, so reducing them from 180 to 173 would be pretty severe.  But there’d probably be options that potentially could come up for a few days reduction.” 
For example, Barentson says, the district could give students the entire Thanksgiving week off – instead of just Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.  The final say rests with Sac City’s board.  Members will start looking at potential budget cuts in early June.