Friday, May 21, 2010



By BOH YOUNG LEE | The Colonial Gazette – The student newspaper of Fairfax High School

Photo illustration by Min-Ji Yi

5/21/2010 5:59:15 PM -- While some students are celebrating the curtailed school year, there is much more to the story than just fewer school days until graduation.

Although a pleasant news to students, furlough days, selected days when teachers do not come to school and are not paid, is an unfortunate result of budget cuts and insufficient funding.

LAUSD negotiators  and United Teachers Los Angeles Leadership engaged in joint discussion, and decided that furlough days would be the best available policy.

“The reason for this policy is the reduced funds and our not getting enough money from the government,” said Mr. Mike Stryer, history teacher and UTLA Representative.

In Fairfax, 50%  of staff agreed  with the decision while 70% of the overall district agreed.

Furlough days for the 2010 - 2011 school year are as follows: September 7 through 10, November 22 through 24, and June 27. To make up for the lack of days of instruction, there will not be any Pupil Free Days next year, although minimum days will still stay.

The decision to resort to furlough days was met with both positive and negative responses.

“I think the fault is in the overspending of the state government,” said JROTC Instructor Retired Lieutenant Colonel Lee Rogers.  “But I’d much rather have furlough days than pay cuts.”

Math teacher Mr. Melvin Nakano voiced a different concern. “Unfortunately, students are the ones who lose out on an extra week of school,” he said. “But on the positive side, it gives us a lot more time to deal with ourselves.”

Still, some responses were ambivalent. “I just wish the district could have looked into the budget situation deeper before making decisions like that,” said Assistant Principal Ms. Patricia Heideman.

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