Summertime and the living may be getting a little easier for kids than they thought it would, but they could well pay for it in the fall. The New York Times reports this morning that deficits are prompting thousands of school districts to reduce or eliminate summer school. While it’s difficult to get exact numbers, large states including California and Florida are reporting sizable cut backs in their school budgets, and stimulus dollars aren’t sufficient to fill the gap, forcing them to look elsewhere for funds.
Taking this learning time away is especially damaging for struggling students. Summer learning loss is a well-documented phenomenon, plus these break periods are an excellent opportunity for students who are behind to catch up with their peers. Clearly it’s a tough time to be balancing budgets, but we hope that states and districts will think very hard before cutting summer learning programs for kids who really need them. You can learn more about effective ways to use school time in our time and learning review. Patte Barth