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Archive for Friday, June 26, 2009

District’s error axes summer break

June 26, 2009

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— It’s a kid’s worst nightmare — just as the last bell has rung for summer break, a school district’s error sentences students to another six weeks in class.

That’s what happened at two Southern California schools, where administrators face a $7 million penalty from the state after cutting a few school days too short.

Scrambling to comply with state law, they began makeup days June 15 while their state assemblyman hurries to push a bill through the Legislature that could spare their sabotaged summer vacation from a rare technicality.

The Chino Valley Unified School District discovered in April that Friday class schedules at Rolling Ridge Elementary School in Chino Hills and Dickson Elementary School in Chino were five to 10 minutes shorter than the state legally allows. While the schools both meet the state-mandated minimum 54,000 minutes of classroom time annually, they fell just shy of 180 minutes on Fridays.

Legally, those 34 short days don’t count as school days, and the district could lose all the $7 million allotted for the student attendance. Its solution is to spend $200,000 on teachers and other costs to keep the kids in school for 34 more days.

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