State Schools Chief Jack O'Connell Says Elimination of Summer School Will Increase Drop-Out Rate

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(Sacramento, CA)
Wednesday, June 17, 2009
Kids who want to attend summer school in California may have to come up with other plans.  Some districts are eliminating summer school programs to cut costs.

Steve Shadley (SHAD-Lee) reports...

Body: 1:05
State Superintendent of Public Instruction Jack O’Connell says doing away with summer school is a setback especially for lower performing districts...
0617 Jack O’connell Summer School Cut  Time:  16 seconds
“My fear is the loss of summer school is going to contribute to the drop out rate.  It’s going to make it more difficult for us to close the achievement gap.  It’s going to make it more difficult for us to sustain the academic improvements...the academic achievement we’ve seen and worked hard for over the past seven years...”
O’Connell is also upset because a conference committee on the state budget this week approved suspending the high school exit exam students are required to take to graduate.   It’s another cost cutting measure to help fill the 24-billion dollar hole in the state budget.   O’Connell says it will drive up the drop-out rate. 
Assembly Speaker Karen Bass says the exit exam suspension is temporary...but she still feels like students are being let down...
0617 Bass Cut  Time:  07 seconds  “if you are going to decrease the resources...why would you then hold kids to a standard if we’re not providing them with the resources to meet?...”   
Meantime, O’Connell is urging lawmakers to provide school districts with more authority to raise local taxes to make up for the budget cuts. SOC