Atascadero and Shandon shorten school year
September 9, 2010
At the same time educational experts are touting the benefits of more time in the classroom, including higher test scores and improved performance, some San Luis Obispo County school districts are lowering their instructional days to help deal with budget deficits.
In San Luis Obispo County, Atascadero and Shandon schools lowered the number of instructional days this school year.
Statewide, of the 30 largest school districts, the majority have shortened the amount of time students are spending in the classroom, according to a survey by California Watch. The shortened school year impacts approximately 1.4 million California students.
During the summer of 2009, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s office lowered the minimum number of instructional days from 180 to 175.
Locally, most are slightly above the minimum:
Atascadero Unified School District – 175 instructional days
Cayucos Elementary School District – 180 instructional days
Lucia Mar Unified School District – 180 instructional days
Paso Robles Joint Unified School District – 180 instructional days
Pleasant Valley Joint Union School District – 181 instructional days
San Luis Coastal Unified School District – 180 instructional days
San Miguel Joint Union School District – Under negotiation at this time
Shandon Unified School District – 175 instructional days
Templeton Unified School District – 181 instructional days
California falls short of most of the United States and the rest of the world when it comes to the number of educational days. All but 13 states have a minimum school year of 180 days, according to a survey by California Watch.
“If it was up to me, I would run the number of school days to 220,” said Greig Welch, assistant superintendent of personnel for Paso Robles Joint Unified School District. “We created a minimum school year back in the late 1800s when children had to go home and help out. Fast forward to 2010, very few of our students are rushing home to help out at the farm or the ranch.
“To maintain our credibility in the world educationally, we are on the other side of the spectrum with only 180 days,” Welch added.