How much will summer school cuts hurt in Florida?
If FCAT scores stall next year, we should remember how many Florida districts slashed summer school this year to balance budgets. Districts around the country did the same, of course, but the cuts here were extensive enough that the New York Timeschose Brevard County, Fla., to anchor this national story.
Florida School Boards Association executive director Wayne Blanton told the New York Times that nearly every district in Florida pared summer school and about half “eliminated it altogether.”
Around Tampa Bay? Hillsborough cut summer programs from five days to four days per week. Both Pinellas and Pasco kept summer reading camps for struggling third graders - who are mandated by the state to get the extra help - but eliminated it for other elementary school students in need of that boost. Pasco also cut summer school for many middle school students.
“The kids who desperately need these opportunities … are going to experience tremendous setbacks this summer,” Ron Fairchild, executive director of the National Center for Summer Learning, told the Christian Science Monitor for another recent story about summer cuts. School districts “are incurring a huge debt in terms of the interventions that will be required later.”
Ron Matus, state education reporter