Southern California -- this just in

« Previous Post | L.A. NOW Home | Next Post »

Summer schools across the state are cut to deal with state fiscal woes

School districts across the state are slashing summer school to deal with the state financial cuts.

Los Angeles Unified School District officials announced today that all summer school classes are being canceled at elementary and middle schools, and only credit recovery courses will be offered at high schools. The reductions were prompted by the district's budget deficit, which calls for $131 million in new cuts by June 30 and up to $273 million next year after voters overwhelmingly rejected a package of state ballot measures earlier this month. Once the measures failed, state legislators were left grappling with a $21.3 billion deficit and are considering cutting $5.3 billion from public school districts and community colleges over the next 13 months.

L.A. Unified is not alone. According to a recent survey by the California State PTA, nearly 41% of parent-teacher organizations around the state report cuts to summer school. Other districts reducing or eliminating summer offerings include San Carlos, Petaluma and Mount Diablo.

Community colleges are feeling the pinch as well, with several. including the Los Angeles Community College District and the College of the Sequoias, cutting summer sessions popular with high school students looking to get ahead on their coursework.

-- Seema Mehta

Comments () | Archives (28)

Good, maybe the budget will make them cut out all their dumb ideas. I always thought summer school was a bad concept; kids need time to play and pursue truly extra-curricular interests, and summers should be sacred.

"play and pursue truly extra-curricular interests" this would be IDEAL given an IDEAL education. As it is, our educational system sucks (for lack of a better word) and summer school is now NEEDED, rather than supplemental, to make up for the lack of a good education. This will definitely have a bigger impact on schools serving underprivileged youth. Take for example the population at UCLA. For Chican@s/Latin@s, the majority of the incoming population was made up of transfer students. There were more incoming Chican@/Latin@ transfer students than there were freshmen! This should be very telling of the type of educational system and the different impacts that it has on different communities and populations.

These cuts are going to be very detrimental to the communities who do not have privatized education...

I don't think that's a fair interpretation or conclusion of these budget cuts. They're not cutting summer school on your principles, and your ideas don't apply to all, if even a majority. Why should summers be sacred? Are you aware that summer schools aren't just for kids looking to get ahead? Most kids take summer school just to simply keep pace or they'll be forever behind.

I can't believe someone just made such an ignorant comment. "Sacred" summer time is great for students with parents with enough resources to send them to places to "pursue truly extra-curricular interests" but people seem to forget about the students that don't have financial resources who end up at home sitting in front of the television losing months of learning. These are the students that usually come from areas where the education level isn't as great thus they are always "behind" and never on a "level playing field" as students from other areas. It's amazing the growth some students can attain during the summer when there are less kids in the classroom and more personal attention from a teacher. It bothers me how narrow-minded and short-sighted some people are, they can't see past their own situations. Try having parents who make $16,000 annually - yeah I'm sure they'll be able to send their two kids to "pursue truly extra-curricular interests." Yes, my children are in science camps and I can take time off work to take them on summer trips, but I know there are plenty of parents in areas who can't and who depend on summer school to provide a safe, fun environment for their children - rather than their neighborhoods which may be filled with violence.

So what happend to all the Calif. Lottery money that is suppose to go to the schools? Too many executives are always giving themselves rasies driving state cars and who knows what else. Ca. res. should but out of state lottery tickets because it seems like it's fixed not to win. also parents of illegal kids attending schools here should pay at least something since they don't pay taxes when they get paid.

Yeah your right, but summerschool also offers them a chance to socialize and make new friends, and keeps them out of trouble. I'm sure they have plenty of time for other activities as well, other than summer school.

What are the cuts from Sacramento? What cuts have been made prior to cutting the schools?

Are the people making these decisions losing there freaking mind? Do they know what the outcome of something like this will be? I do, more kids on the street,more violence more teachers out for the summer with no pay, more house's down the drain. O.k kids lets all go hang out at the park and see what kind of trouble we can get in. It's gonna be a hot long summer for a lot of people. I have no kids, but i really feel bad for yours. bad move

As a 53 year old male on disability. I'm using my local community college to retrain in a new career. Half of the SS classes were slashed making my target date of completion (12/09) a bit iffy. I know I'm only one guy, but the chance to get off disability (at least for a while) and start contributing is my goal. I know there are plenty of others, disabled or not, that are starting over by going back to school. SS is a necessity for completing our programs and getting back to work.

As for the high school and elementary levels.... My parents sent the three of us boys to SS every summer. It was only half day and we had plenty of time to play. Their insistence produced three college graduates who are now sending their kids to college.

Trim the fat at the administrator levels, not teachers and classes. Unfortunately, the administrators are ones who decide what to cut. Top-heavy system is not working. Our children are losing here to mindless beauracrats.

In my opinion i dont think is right for our kids to be punish in any way. The kids are our future and no matter if parents pay taxes or not people shouldnt be blaming one another for cutting back summer school's. The true people that we should be pointing our fingers to is the people that are cutting back the school's and not fighting for their kids education People dont understand the fact that t.v shows and the media are making so much money from us that we dont even realize and all that money is going to their million dollar home or their new dimon ring. People you need to see the true picture here! stop pointing fingers to one another and to paretns or teachers start standing up for our rights and prove to others that our kids education is important. We need to stop heading over to theme parks, stop going to the movie theaters, stop buying concert tickets and start saving that money for our kids education! My question to everyone is When has anyone with a million dollar home that makes profit out of us has donated money to the school's? and my answer to this is NO ONE!

LAUSD dropped over a billion (!) in building a few high schools throughout LA county. LAUSD had two options: build massive structures with unique designs, or acquire buildings and bring them up to code. The latter would have saved LAUSD hundreds of millions of dollars. The former has lead to cuts in the budget and layoffs. Instead of cutting summer school for hundreds of institutions, why not cut the board's pay? It definitely isn't the children's fault, so why should they be deprived of summer help?

I am so tired of people assuming that cuts in summer school and other desired governmental services are due to excess management and other supposed government fat. This is a lame excuse for not looking in the mirror and recognizing that services require funding and that the inadequacy of tax income has a consequence in inadequacy of governmental services. The electorate can not continuously blame politicians for not solving our governmental fiscal problems when they place policy straightjacks on the policitians in the form of 2/3 voting requirements, designated funding and the like. The point may have finally come where the public is no longer immune from the detriment their unfocused and self-focused voting choices have yielded. I just wish Chermerinsky was wrong about the inability of our electorate and political system to obtain reform given the vocal interest groups that will shout down anything not specifically promoting their particular agenda, e.g. gay marriage, abortion, promotion or demolition of union power, etc.

This is the fault of everyone who voted against breaking up the School Board to begin. The waste in our schools time and time again has been cited as the worst in the country.
Yet most citizens of LA don't care - they either don't vote at all or vote for no change.
Well, you've may your bed, time lie in it.

All this is wrong. First, Obama is giving to much money in bailouts to corporations and states. The question here is "Who is going to end up paying this bailout money?" Tell you who!!! The same kids who are not getting their education that is who. Thank you Obama. I did vote for him for all this was predicted. No way we can fix our economy by doing what he is doing. CEO's are just laughing at him when they see the money come in and thank Obama for their big bonus and retirement money finally come in. What do they do? Exit and don't look back. He is our president and we have to live with his choices of the way our country is been ranned down the toilet. I feel bad for our future generations to come. Massive headaches.

If there's no summer school, does that mean that the administrators and overhead at LAUSD will also forgo being paid for those three months?

What a bunch of clueless self absorbed bureaucrats these people are. They waste money on the process and their only way to cut back is to cut back services, not lower the cost of those services.

Honestly, sometimes I think we need a nice revolution like they had in France sometime in the late 1700s.

Or maybe El Zorro in his black horse can start doing his job again, starting with Sacramento and then moving down to LA.

This is outrageous. Obama "the education president" has been giving hundreds of billions, no trililons to bail out corporations and banks for negligence and to offset outrageous corporate salaries. (To be fair the Republicans are just as bad and insist that revoking bonuses even to the failed Exex who get bailout funds is "bad for the future of Wall Street." Pls., there's enough money and greed to offset a little reality.)

A lot of those companies and banks didn't even WANT the money but were included "to be fair." (to whom?) Even as WE the taxpayers footed the bill AND had our credit card fees/ limits/ credit scores hurt by SAME banks claiming poverty.

These closures will mean a lot of kids can't progress to the following year or will start behind, costing a lot MORE. Plus any kids willing to go to summer school are kids off the street and out of gangs and really learning, god forbid we should encourage that. There is NO cheaper "gang prevention program."

On top of community college being closed for any sessions after June, when high school and college kids make up needed courses and do something productive with their lives. Adults often need the courses to get a job,

But they can focus on a 25c fee for grocery story bags to feel better about themselves and further hurt the economy.

We can save even more money if summer school classes were paid for by parents if their children fail classes during the regular school year. It's a fact that students fail classes during the regular school year and take the "easier" class during summer school. Students and parents know how to game the system. Teachers, principals, and the districts are being held accountable so why not parents? First time a class should be free, after that parents need to pay. It's the right thing to do.

We can save even more money if summer school classes were paid for by parents if their children fail classes during the regular school year. It's a fact that students fail classes during the regular school year and take the "easier" class during summer school. Students and parents know how to game the system. Teachers, principals, and the districts are being held accountable so why not parents? First time a class should be free, after that parents need to pay. It's the right thing to do.

What the heck was Schwarzenegger doing all this time? He can't blame the economy! It was his job to prepare the state for this type of situation! He's worse than his predecessor. So much for his campaign slogan, "Education first."

Have you read LA times articles about teacher's union making (almost) impossible to fire incompetent or immoral teachers? May be LAUSD should go into bankruptcy and void all wasteful spending and come out as more efficient and better run organization.

Why would we cut anything before we cut all of the costs associated with illegal immigrants? Have we all gone crazy?

What about the outrageous salaries and pensions of the Fire Department and other government workers?

I cannot believe that we all sit around and accept this!


The State Gov. and public institutions of California need to understand the public is fed up with inefficiency.

We taxpayers are willing to pay for a service. Right now we believe that it's time for California's public service to provide services more efficiently. Cutting back on services actually makes those services more costly.

Otherwise, we might as well break up the budget into a set of resolutions and we taxpayers will vote on it. Locally we can do away with School boards similarly. Put it all up on initiatives and we'll vote on the budgets yearly.

With the advent of the Internet, I think the time has come to move away from a republic to a direct democracy.

Otherwise, I'll be sharpening my pitchfork and catching up on my french. It will be nice to make the Public Sector eat cake.

Oh, how about High Speed Train? Illegal Pate de Fois Gras? 100 million High Schools? Are we finally going to get serious on the business of running this state and its institutions?

I strongly recommend that the Politburos running the LAUSD either resigned or get keel hauled somewhere soon west of Catalina Island.


Revise the property tax system so that the tax burden is distributed evenly between new and old residents.

Cut state expenditures for state employee's salaries, benefits and pensions.

Close DMV and/or subcontract them to private companies.

Raise the vehicle tax, and base it in part on weight not just value or age of vehicle.

Raise the gasoline tax - why did the Republicans push for screwing California with increased sales taxes instead?

State toll roads.

Protest loudly about all of the extra money that we send to Washington. California gets 75 cents for every dollar shipped to Washington D.C.

The other thing I forgot to add: if you cut education, you will increase the prison population later on, at a current cost of about $30,000 per prisoner per year.

1 2 | »


Recommended on Facebook


In Case You Missed It...


About L.A. Now
L.A. Now is the Los Angeles Times’ breaking news section for Southern California. It is produced by more than 80 reporters and editors in The Times’ Metro section, reporting from the paper’s downtown Los Angeles headquarters as well as bureaus in Costa Mesa, Long Beach, San Diego, San Francisco, Sacramento, Riverside, Ventura and West Los Angeles.
Have a story tip for L.A. Now?
Please send to newstips@latimes.com
Can I call someone with news?
Yes. The city desk number is (213) 237-7847.


Get Alerts on Your Mobile Phone

Sign me up for the following lists: