SACRAMENTO (CBS13) —The Sacramento City Unified School District’s $24 million deficit means a summer school program will end after just its first year.
Administrators have voted to cut certain programs and services in order to save on money, including a summer initiative that started just last week.
More than 4,300 students were automatically enrolled in Expanded Learning this summer to either meet grade requirements or as a way to prepare for future studies. They will be able to continue their studies through the end of July, but that won’t be the case next year.
The program is aimed at helping hundreds of Sacramento students. An opportunity to get all caught up and grade-ready for the new school year.
“They give you all the information, you know right now they help you a lot, they instantly help you,” said parent, Seema Gusain.
But next June the program will be no more. The board has decided to get rid of it because of lack of resources. It’s a problem that’s not sitting well with parents.
“It’s not good, to eliminate, this kind of if they are providing this. They are to enhance the schedule of the students, it’s pretty bad if they are going to eliminate this,” she said
Eliminating the $3 million program was part of the district’s budget cuts. It also includes cuts to office positions, students services and a hiring freeze, all at its central office.
“What we need is an ongoing strategy, we need a strategy where we identify cuts that we can make long-term so we don’t have to keep making cuts every year and that is going to be the challenge over the next year,” said Alex Barrios, chief communications officer with SCUSD.
The board is going into a new fiscal year with a $24 million deficit. The reason for the cuts, school leaders say is a result of rising health care costs and a state-mandated increase in pension contributions.
“It’s very disappointing because our superintendent has a great vision for adequate, access and social justice has introduced really small investments to try and help our students who are most at need,” he said.
‘Expanded Learning,’ runs until July 26. The superintendent is pursuing an independent financial audit of the district.