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One fair solution to budget cuts

By Lisa Bonebrake

Parent volunteer, Bird Rock

Elementary School

Due to more shortfalls in the state budget, San Diego parents, schools and types of student learners are once again being pitted against each other to save specific programs and teachers.

We are again facing increased class sizes (29 students even in grades K-3); half-day kindergarten; no more librarians or school nurses; no more music or sports in high schools.

There’s one fair solution that has been implemented in other cities and I believe is not getting enough consideration here: a districtwide shortening of the school year by 10 days next year (savings of $60 million). This way, all stakeholders share equitably in the cost reductions while saving the jobs of our valued teachers, and keeping the critical services and programs our students deserve. It is, by far, the most fair and effective solution.

All the people and programs remain in place when funds are once again available in the district. Should budgets shift for the better, days can be added back to the school calendar. Once programs are “zero-budgeted,” it’s unlikely we’ll ever see those services again. Let’s take a long-term view and stand as one community. Let’s support school board member John deBeck’s proposed furlough program and share equitably in this crises.