By Sandy Wong, Staff Writer
This summer, freshmen, sophomores, and juniors in the San Francisco Unified School District (SFUSD), will most likely have a difficult time trying to make up for their failed classes. Summer school programs in the SFUSD will be limited to only seniors who require credits to graduate and also as a requirement for special education students, due to the limited budget given to summer school programs because of the budget cuts for education across California.
The reason why only special education students and seniors [who do not have enough credits to graduate], can attend summer school in the Summer of 2010 because they are priority groups, meaning there are no other options available for the two groups other than taking summer school classes. Because it is the lack of credits that hold some seniors back from graduating, those seniors are given priority to attend summer school in order for them to graduate on time. Instead of offering summer school to all students, only seniors who are missing credit for graduation and special education students, because the law mandates the special educated students attend summer school, will be given the opportunity to attend.
Besides limiting the number of students who can attend, the summer school cutbacks also involve the cuts of summer school teachers and the number of classes provided. Instead of having 25 teachers teaching summer classes, there will only be approximately 8 teachers. Also, as a result of having fewer teachers, classes will be more compacted.
The main reason why summer school is being limited this year is solely based upon the budget cuts for education in California. The SFUSD is facing budget cuts of up to 24%, and because of that, the Board of Education has decided to limit the summer school seats In order for the district to save approximately $2 million out of the $113 million deficit.
Because summer school will only be available to special education students and seniors who necessitate credits, this will affect students in many ways. Underclassmen who wish to attend summer school will have to find alternatives to earn more credits during the summer. Galileo Principal Ms. Vicki Pesek suggests, “College for Teens is open to other students [who aren’t seniors or special educations students], but it is costly.”
Many students do not feel it is right to limit the number of students who can attend summer school. Sophomore Kyle Liu, Junior Diane Lee, and Senior Alan Li feel that it is unfair to limit students the summer school program, especially education. Kyle explains, “I’m a sophomore who isn’t failing, but in this state where students are judged upon performance, how am I supposed to prove that I am above the rest, if the opportunity of attending summer school is not available for me?” Diane states, “California is not only neglecting its students, but California is neglecting its future; it is hindering the students who will be the future of the state.” Alan sums it up best by saying, “If I were to give an underclassmen a tip, I would suggest them to take classes in the summer to earn more credits, but because everything on education seems to be cutting back, there isn’t really much I can suggest anymore.”