Davis Joint Unified School District (DJUSD) will not be extending their school year in the near future due to budget cuts. This is despite President Obama’s plan to extend the school year by one month.
“Personally, I believe lengthening the school year has merit,” said Susan Lovenburg, a trustee of the DJUSD. “However DJUSD shortened the 2010-2011 school year when we negotiated a one year, 2.7 percent salary reduction from all employees in exchange for five furlough days. I would be very happy just to regain those days.”
According to the DJUSD website, state funding has been cut by over $1,100 per student since 2007. That has resulted in a 15 percent loss in revenue for DJUSD.
“The current budget shortfall was greatly masked by the state of California’s budgeting process and the magnitude of the shortfall did not come out until later in 2009 after tax receipts and property taxes started to free fall,” according to the DJUSD website.
District Dollars, an online record of Davis’ district expenditures and state funding, explained the structural deficit Davis schools are currently experiencing.
“If the district regularly spends more money on ongoing expenses than it receives, the budget has a structural deficit. If deficit spending continues the district may not be able to pay all its bills in the future,” according to the website.
To cope with the aforementioned budget shortfall, DJUSD cut expenses by more than $2 million. This resulted in the terminations of 42 full-time positions.
While most of the national debate centers on the public education system, the Davis Waldorf School (DWS) has their own reason for not extending the school year.
“We consider vacation and family time vitally important in having the child rested and recharged to take up learning again fully in the fall,” said Kelly Brewer of DWS. “We work on reducing stress on children and increasing the joy of learning in a balanced, healthy and whole program.”
DWS is privately funded through student tuition.
CARLY HAASE can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.