Students needing summer classes hurt most by cuts

Summer school programs and summer classes for third- and fourth-graders struggling in school are being slashed because of state cuts.

Summer-school reimbursement for the San Francisco Unified School District will be slashed 16 percent this year, leaving educators with $650,000 less to teach the 8,000 to 9,000 students who attend, according to Amy Talisman of the district’s summer-school division. Classes will be offered at fewer schools, and only special-education students can take summer school before the fifth grade, she said.

Many working parents rely on summer school to keep their children active and caught up in their classes, said Daisy Hernandez with Parents for Public Schools.

“It’s really sad,” Hernandez said. “Most Latinos need this. This is going to be a disaster.”

Classes will not be offered this summer at International Studies High School, Visitacion Valley Middle School, and Fairmount, George Washington Carver, Leonard Flynn and Sheridan elementary schools, according to Talisman.

“We’re trying to consolidate as many students as we can into the remaining schools,” Talisman said.

Priority for summer school goes to high-school students who haven’t passed the California High School Exit Exam and seventh-graders who are scoring below “basic” levels on the California Standards Test.

Summer school has been whittled over a number of years to a program that serves only those struggling the most. In 2002, 40 percent of San Francisco’s public-school students attended summer school. By 2005, it was just 17 percent.

bwinegarner@examiner.com

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