The Peoria Unified School District planned the 30 day study in response to Arizona governor Doug Ducey’s proposed budget which includes cuts to district funding in an effort to lower the state budget.
The district wishes to provide excellence to its students and families and to continue to do so means cutting to a 4-day school week rather than cutting programs.
The proposed cuts to education are outlined in the Governor’s budget. What’s interesting in this proposal is the recommendation to continue the data gathering. From the document:
The Executive recommends continuing the development and implementation of the Education Learning and Accountability System (ELAS), which is focused on improving student data collection and school finance payments. This data system will collect, complete, maintain and report student level data for students 128 Department of Education FY 2016 Executive Budget attending public institutions that provide instruction to pupils in preschool programs, grades one through 12, and postsecondary education. Since 2012, the State has provided $31.4 million to develop ELAS.
There are two main components to the new system. First is the replacement of the current Student Accountability and Information System (SAIS).
The other component is the Statewide Longitudinal Data System, otherwise known as the huge governmental, womb to tomb data gathering monstrosity.
Data gathering is more important than educational instruction time in Arizona. Well, actually, data gathering is more important than educational instruction in all states.
This, so far, is the first I’ve heard of a district toying with the idea of cutting instructional days to 4 a week to deal with budget cuts. In fact, living in Oregon, I’m not used to the idea of cutting the budget for education. Our government is always demanding more money and comes up with some creative (read: stupid and draining to Oregonians wallets) ways to get more of it into the all-important education fund.
I’m sure there are extraneous programs and superfluous personnel that could be cut without chopping a day off of the school week. Or, hey, an even better idea: Data collection could, say, take a flying leap!