It’s not the greatest thing for students, but the Reedsport School District’s budget cuts demand fewer days in the classroom
The Reedsport School Board last week voted to accept a revised school calendar that includes just 166 days of instruction this year. The revision includes six unpaid furlough days for staff, reflecting the board’s decision in October to require district employees to take up to eight unpaid furlough days during the 2010-11 school year.
The first two furlough days came on Nov. 22-23, when Thanksgiving break was extended through an entire week. The next four furlough days will be June 13-16, which would have been the last week of school. The final day of the school year is now set for June 9, with graduation ceremonies planned for Sunday, June 12.
“We are still compliant with the state’s standards for instructional hours, but just barely,” Superin-tendent Ike Launstein told the school board. “I wasn’t sure we could do it with the furlough days, but we did it.”
State law requires at least 990 hours of instruction per year for grades 9-12, 900 hours for grades 4-8, and 810 hours for grades 1-3.
According to Leann Stuller, the school district’s business manager, the revised calendar includes 996 hours of instruction for grades 9-12. Each school day includes approximately six to 6.5 hours of instruction time, depending on the grade level, she said. Recess and lunch times are not counted as part of the school day.
The school board tightened up the budget last June, after all Oregon school districts were forced to go back to the drawing board and cut another 9 percent from their budget because of projected shortfalls in state revenue.
Reedsport reduced its 2010-11 budget by $274,889 in June.
In September the school board was faced with another state funding reduction of $144,689, which was then offset by federal stimulus dollars from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.
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