Second-graders would miss lessons on prefixes and suffixes.
U.S. history students would gloss over the civil rights movement.
Parents would have to find three extra weeks of day care for their kids.
Standardized state tests and Advanced Placement exams would be disrupted.
And hundreds of thousands of Los Angeles Unified students would miss out on nearly 10 million healthful meals.
With polls showing support slipping for Proposition 30, Los Angeles Unified is bracing for the budget cuts that would be triggered if the tax-increase measure fails on Tuesday. To offset the cuts, the state is allowing districts to shave 15 days off their 175-day school calendars this year -- and up to 15 additional days next year -- a move that LAUSD officials fear could jeopardize students' hard-won academic gains and hinder efforts to prepare them for college or a career.
"A 160-day school calendar is unheard of," said Jaime Aquino, LAUSD's deputy superintendent for instruction. "This is subpar to what Third World countries are offering their students when it comes to an instructional day."
Backed by Gov. Jerry Brown, Prop. 30 would fill a $6 billion hole in the state budget by raising the sales tax by a quarter-percent for four years and the income tax on wages over $250,000 for seven years. Supporters say the revenue would also repay money withheld from districts during the recession and restore education funding to mandated levels.
An outright defeat of Prop. 30 or a win by rival Prop. 38 would trigger $6 billion in cuts to California's public schools, community colleges and universities.
If forced to slash $255 million from its 2012-13 budget of $6 billion, LAUSD would end its school year on May 10 rather than the scheduled date of May 31. Officials estimate LAUSD's deficit for 2013-14 would swell to $650million, forcing them to cut up to 10 more days from the school calendar.
Education leaders are deeply worried about the loss of instructional time and how that would affect student test scores, high school graduation rates and highly competitive college admissions.
There are also concerns about how a truncated school year would affect the state's standardized tests, which are supposed to be given when 85 percent of the material is covered -- typically in late April or early May.
A solution would also have to be found for the 25,000 or so LAUSD students enrolled in Advanced Placement courses, which allows them to earn college credit. Students nationwide are scheduled to take the AP exams next May 6- 17 -- nonnegotiable dates that straddle what would be the last day of school for local kids.
"If I could, I'd set aside some of our Title I money to pay teachers to come back and administer the tests," said Judith Vanderbok, principal at Van Nuys High School, where two-thirds of this year's 1,100 AP test-takers scored well enough to earn college credit.
Officials also worry about issues outside of the classroom, like the lessons forgotten during summer vacation that suddenly would be lengthened by nearly a month.
And about economically stressed families faced with finding day care for their children for three extra weeks.
And the low-income students who eat federally funded breakfast and lunch
Most Popular Stories
- Bipartisan Budget Deal Gets Key Support in House
- TFA Recruiting DACA Recipients
- Bitcoin Clones Lurch Onto Financial Scene
- Scotch Whisky Sales Raise Distillers' Spirits
- Clinton to Keynote Annual Simmons Leadership Conference
- Holiday Shopping Off to a Slow Start This Season
- Health Coverage Disparities Emerge Among States
- Fake Deaf Interpreter Was Hallucinating, Has Schizophrenia
- Podesta Likely to Reject Keystone XL
- Tea Party Glum in Face of Bipartisan Budget Deal