The on-again, off-again early start calendar is on yet again. In just one day, the media outlets were posting that John Deasy had requested an indefinite hold to the calendar, which starts three weeks earlier in mid-August, due to financial concerns.
Some of us celebrated, cautiously. While the Valley is the originator of the plan, with 18 high schools in their second year of early start, the Valley also voices much of the concern about the longer, hotter days that will lead to more inclement weather schedules. While the calendar makes sense for some high school students, there has been no proof it actually increases AP scores or produces more CAHSEE passes.
Around dinner time, a single Facebook post from Tamar Galatzan proclaimed the calendar was on again. Parents were confused as they found various media outlets still posting the off-again story rather than updating the school board vote. The sad thing is not every station has an education beat reporter. Yet this morning, it’s official per the Daily News, but only as official as it is for today.
There’s an easy way to eliminate the $2-4 million in start up costs. If those costs are affiliated with Labor Day, then give up the third week of Winter Break. That will let the students out the last week in May, and eliminate the Memorial Day holiday pay.
As for the calendar itself, some people love it. I personally do not. I’d prefer the proof as school board members Vladovic and Kayser requested, but sadly, LAUSD likes feel good programs rather than documenting the actual success. As for the requests for an opt-out that Steve Zimmer requested, I’m thankful that failed. Eventually, all schools do need to be on the same, or very similar schedules. Families were divided long enough.
I just hope they find a way to eliminate that $2-4 million cost, because we could save a lot of teachers with that money.
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