Most people — my children among them — think SFUSD let out for the 2011-12 school year on last Friday, May 25. Nope! Today was actually the last day of the school year, but all the schools and district offices were shut due to budget cuts. If you emailed the Superintendent or other member of the central office staff, chances are you got some version of the following autoresponder:
Thank you for contacting me. I will be out of the office until Wednesday May 30th. All SFUSD schools and central services departments are closed for the Memorial Day holiday on May 28th and for a forced closure day on May 29th, caused by inadequate state funding for public education.
It’s important not to let forced closure days go unnoticed — there have been eight of them in the past two years, representing thousands of dollars in pay cuts to teachers and other staff, and close to two weeks in lost education for students.
To learn more about how schools are [un]funded in California, and some possible short- or long-term solutions to the problem, here are some great reports to read:
- How do California schools get their money? (PDF), California Budget Project brief, May 2012
- Funding Formulas for California Schools IV: An Analysis of Gov. Brown’s Weighted Pupil Funding Formula, May Budget Revision, Public Policy Institute of California, May 2012
- Legislative Analyst: No need for $5.5 billion cut to schools, TOP-Ed, May 21, 2012