Analyzing Days Off

by Audrey Robles:

As a result of the estimated $390 million district budget deficit, LAUSD signed agreements with the United Teachers of Los Angeles (UTLA) to shorten the original 180 day school calendar and add ten furlough days to the upcoming school year. This shortens the school year by a week and prevents the layoffs of approximately 4,500 teachers and other district workers.

“This agreement will enable many of our valued employees to remain in the classroom next year,” said Los Angeles Schools Superintendent John Deasy.

This year, Thanksgiving will be a weeklong vacation and the estimated last day for most schools will be on May 31; nineteen days earlier than last year.  The other four days January 21, 2013; February 18, 2013; March 29, 2013 and May 27, 2013 are paid non-work days.

“I believe furlough days are very bad because students are in class less and when they come back they forget the curriculum so teachers have to reteach them again.”, stated Kennedy math teacher Mrs. Behmard. “We [teachers] have to work at a faster pace before CSTs and we will not have enough time to review the lessons.”

Kennedy student Olivia Garcia believes that this shortened school year is taking away from students’ education. “Teachers are moving too fast and they want us to learn lessons in a short amount of time.” Garcia also believes that furlough days shouldn’t continue for the reasons that school is meant to prepare students for the future and students won’t be prepared for college.

These people and others believe furloughs are negatively impacting both students and teachers and should be put to a halt. LAUSD needs to save money, but are furlough days the right way to do it? Students and teachers believe that the district needs to save money another way because while it may help now, this trend wont last long.