A letter was sent this week to parents of children who attend schools in Canyons District, informing them of the recent decision by the Board of Education to reduce the number of instructional days for the 2010-2011 year from 180 to 175.
The June 21, 2010 letter from Canyons Superintendent David Doty explained that the abridgement of the academic calendar, which also includes five unpaid furlough days for employees, was one of the Board’s budget-balancing strategies.
“The fact that CSD is a new school district does not immunize us from the revenue shortfalls facing every school district in Utah; while we had federal stimulus money to help us get through last year, that money is no longer available and we are now faced with a $13 million revenue deficit for the 2010-2011 school year,” Dr. Doty wrote in the letter.
“Consequently, the Board of Education and District administration have wrestled with very hard decisions in order to balance next year’s $198 million budget. Our priorities were: 1) maintain instructional quality; 2) maintain class sizes; and 3) preserve the employment of teachers and staff.”
Each school day eliminated will save the District approximately $700,000, resulting in a one-time savings of approximately $3.5 million next year.
Dr. Doty also noted that Canyons School District is not the only district implementing school furloughs next year. Several other Utah districts are reducing instructional days next year, and districts in virtually every other state that has authorized the reduction of instructional days are doing so as a budget strategy.
“We are cognizant of the fact that eliminating school days can be difficult for parents who have to make arrangements for their children when school is not in session,” Dr. Doty wrote. “Therefore, we have attempted to modify the calendar so that the five school closure days will minimize disruption to learning and not cause undue burden on families.”