"Some Lady Messed Up"

Sigh:

School's out for summer -- except for hundreds of children in western San Bernardino County who, because of an administrative snafu, must make up 34 days of school this summer.

The fourth-, fifth- and sixth-graders at Rolling Ridge Elementary in Chino Hills and Dickson Elementary in Chino exceeded the state's requirement of minutes spent in the classroom, and the last day of school was supposed to be Thursday. But because of the complexities of state law and a clerical error on a spreadsheet, the Chino Unified School District will lose more than $7 million in state funds if classes end at the schools before July 31.

Here's the error in question:

Schools typically have one shortened day per week, allowing teachers to use the remaining time for planning and parent conferences. Under state law, these days must be at least 180 minutes, and the daily average classroom time over 10 consecutive days must be 240 minutes.

An internal audit in early May discovered that 34 minimum days had been 175 minutes at Dickson and 170 at Rolling Ridge, said district spokeswoman Julie Gobin. That adds up to a shortage of 170 and 340 minutes, respectively, which could be made up in one or two school days. But under state law, these too-short days do not count at all, meaning that all 34 must be made up to avoid a state penalty of more than $7 million.

Words fail me, but they haven't failed Sean Cornish, a Swiper-quoting fourth-grader:

"Oh, mannnnn," said the 10-year-old, adding that the subject has been a frequent topic of conversation among his classmates. "They think it's dumb, that they have to go to school for these extra days because some lady messed up."

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  • Cabeza de Vaca||

    Those poor kids, that's just retarded.

  • ||

    This is possibly the most important thing they learn in school - their govt is run by idiots.

  • Flex Nasty B.I.G.||

    Can't some legislator push through a law to exempt these poor kids?

  • Rich||

    This is a *great* lesson for the kids about government bureaucracy. One can only h-word they take it to heart and become adults who do not "mess up".

  • SpongePaul||

    Its for the chillins, oh wait, this time its aginst the chillins, damn overlords need to get this straight, lol. but seriously, penalizing kids 34 days for oh roughly 3 hours of classtime is betond moronic

  • ||

    They're learning the most important lesson of them all: That when a government employee fucks up, you pay the price.

  • ||

    Ah, what would life be without a patchwork of bureaucratic rules and laws that prevent simple, painless solutions?

  • ||

    Schools typically have one shortened day per week, allowing teachers to use the remaining time for planning and parent conferences.

    Uh huh.

  • ||

    Any guess on whether the bureaucrat who screwed the pooch on this one got fired? Or got a promotion?

  • ||

    If my kids attended that district, they would not attend the extended days.

  • Jay||

    Daniel-

    Agreed. Going to school for 34 days to make up 170 and 340 MINUTES respectively. That's beyond stupid.

  • ||

    But the government is going to do a great job managing healthcare for everyone.

  • monkey on juice||

    "Any guess on whether the bureaucrat who screwed the pooch on this one got fired?"


    Not a chance.

    Now, wanna take a guess on whether the bureaucrat responsible for this clusterfuck was a product of a public school?

  • tarran||

    Oh, the parents are probably cheering at all the free child-care this fuck-up is giving them.

    I would be very surprised if more than 10% of the parents kept their children out of the school.

  • Warty||

    I'd make sure to send my kids to school drunk on the extra days.

  • ||

    Ok, so they would lose $7M by not doing the extra days. But how much extra will they pay to run school for 34 more days? Those teachers aren't going to work for free.

  • Sara||

    The rule is the rule. If a day is too short by even a second, it doesn't count, so the whole day needs to be made up. They either lose 7M or go to school 34 more days, if they bend the rule in this instance it is not fair, the law's the law.

  • ||

    For those keeping score at home, Sara will be playing the role of Juanita today.

  • monkey on juice||

    "the law's the law"


    The law is an ass.

  • ||

    Sara will be playing the role of Juanita today.

    Ooo, H&R understudies! I call SugarFree!

  • ||

    I call J sub D. Let me put on my cranky ex navy Bush hating old guy hat. Just have to remember anything that happened while underway was not gay.

  • Cabeza de Vaca||

    "Ooo, H&R understudies! I call SugarFree!"

    Sugarless is busy outing Underzog on another thread. Turns out he's our old buddy Donderoooooooooo.

  • ||

    The school year should end when originally scheduled and the district should be required to return the money. Otherwise there's no incentive on the part of the administrators to challenge this sort of stupidity.

    But I'm biased. I'm firmly of the belief that extended school years are pointless. A few extra hours in the day or weeks in the year make no difference at all. They just allow the schools to screw things up at a slightly more leisurely pace.

    My favorite quote from the article: "We made an error on the minimum days of about five minutes," said Dickson Principal Sue Pederson. "Realistically, that's our accounting mistake as adults. We're unfortunately making the children pay for it by making them give up their summer."

    Very insightful. So how about you don't do that, Principal Penderson?

  • ||

    I call SugarFree!

    All I ask is that you maintain my long tradition of sticking closely to the topic of the thread.

  • Xeones||

    All I ask is that you maintain my long tradition of sticking closely to the topic of the thread.

    As well as your impeccable talent for not fucking up links, ever, for real you guys.

  • ||

    The lasses at Feministing have some interesting things to say about public schools.

    [preemptively shakes cane at Episiarch]

  • Abdul||

    Back when I worked in elementary schools in Philadelphia, there was a rule that a school day didn't count unless the children had an opportunity to eat lunch. On days when early dismissal was necessary because of teacher training or unexpected emergencies like bad weather, the kids were marched to the cafeteria before being sent home. There were several days where the kids would come in at 7:00 and get their government-provided breakfasts, go to homerooms at 7:30, and go back to the cafeteria by 8:00 am for lunch.

  • ||

    Ok, so they would lose $7M by not doing the extra days. But how much extra will they pay to run school for 34 more days?

    Excellent question. What's the net on this? Did anybody at the school even think to ask?

  • rascal||

    I WANNA GO TO SCHOOL 34 DAZE!

    I was walking through the woods this morning when I happened upon an ELEMENTARY SCHOOL. It was raining, but inside there were numbers and alphabets. It made me warm my cockles and simile!

    These kids they should TEA PARTY. Excuses excuses REVOLUTION! Plot of kid-flick!? YES!

    The kids need take over school require leadership? The questions are how to get my brane inside 4th grader! Lead THE UPRISING!

    ?NO RITHMETICS OR FRACTION OR SPELLING IN SUMMER, OKAY!?

  • LibertyMark||

    My kids are not in government schools.

    If you have the financial means to get your kids out of government schools, but keep them in regardless, then shame on you!

    Oh, that's right: this is in California. Everyone there was spending every last penny on their McMansions.

  • ||

    Now's the time for parents to use the "no tolerance" policy to their advantage. If they want their kid out of school for the whole summer, send 'em to school with a baggie full of asprin or a plastic knife.

  • Invisible Finger||

    The good news is the teachers and administrators won't be paid for these additional 34 days, right?

    Otherwise, it sounds not like a screw up, but a scam.

  • ||

    Finger, I'm sure the teachers are gung ho to be spending an extra 34 summer days policing classrooms full of kids who don't want to be there (even more than usual).

  • The Angry Optimist||

    Tulpa - Finger does raise an interesting point, though. If the 170-minute days don't count, then they shouldn't count for pay purposes either.

  • ||

    Government Burea-doc: "Our records show that the 34 X-rays you received were supposed to have exposure times of at least 0.180 seconds, but instead were only 0.170 or 0.175 seconds. Therefore you will have to receieve all 34 X-rays again at the full 0.240 second exposure time."
    John Q Patient: "This burns me up."

    Oh, boy. Can't wait for government-run health care.

  • robc||

    Turns out he's our old buddy Donderoooooooooo.

    Wait, what?

    But Donderooooooooooooooo makes a big deal about only responding to people who post under a real name. That posting anonymously is wrong.

    Okay, Im not surprised at all by this.

  • Invisible Finger||

    I'm sure the teachers are gung ho to be spending an extra 34 summer days policing classrooms full of kids who don't want to be there

    Depends on what kinds of bills they have to pay. Plus the ones near retirement get a nice little bump in pension.

  • Jesse Walker||

    I really doubt that Underzog and Dondero are the same person.

  • ||

    If the 170-minute days don't count, then they shouldn't count for pay purposes either.

    I know public school teachers are common scapegoats here on H&R, but still. Would you tolerate erasing hours worked for any other job?

  • LarryA||

    It's a good thing that didn't happen here in the Texas Hill Country. One of our major businesses is summer camps. The bureaucrat would have been lucky to have been tarred and feathered and ridden out of town on a rail.

    An internal audit in early May discovered that 34 minimum days had been 175 minutes at Dickson and 170 at Rolling Ridge, said district spokeswoman Julie Gobin.

    How do teachers and principals not notice that a school day is 2 hours 55 minutes or 2 hours 50 minutes instead of 3 hours?

    How do you justify running school busses, opening buildings, etc. for a 3-hour school day every week?

    OTOH this means the remaining days are (2400-6) / 8 / 60 = just under 5 hours. So they aren't that much longer.

    Be interesting to know how many teachers actually stay around for that two hours per week.

  • ||

    Larry, I suspect the totals don't include time between classes and lunch/recess periods. Which explains how it would be easy to screw up the calculation.

    Though for seven megabucks I'd think you'd double check, but then again I'm not immersed in bureaucratic culture.

  • SandBFlag||

    Let the lady who messed up pay for it, not the kids

  • ||

    Maybe they could make it up with a bake sale?

  • ||

    Jesse,

    I really doubt that Underzog and Dondero are the same person.

    Like Cesar and Neil, can't you tell us whether they are the same person (or at least the same range of IPs)? Stop toying with our emotions, Jesse. It's cruel.

  • The Angry Optimist||

    Would you tolerate erasing hours worked for any other job?



    That's not what we're talking about. Teachers are paid for 270 days of work. Do you feel, then, that they are entitled to 34 extra days of pay, even if they only worked 233 days that met the state definition?

  • The Angry Optimist||

    oops, 236 days

  • Zeb||

    "Now, wanna take a guess on whether the bureaucrat responsible for this clusterfuck was a product of a public school?"

    Have you ever met people who went to private schools? Whatever problems Public Schools may have, and whether or not they should exist, private school students/graduates are hardly more in touch with reality, or less likely to support government stupidity than their publicly educated counterparts. The government is just full of privileged little twits from private schools who want nothing more than to perpetuate this sort of nightmare. What you are hinting at is far deeper than simply the failures of public schools.

  • ||

    To make the kids go to school is asinine but then this is California. To those of you asking if the teachers get paid. Yes they do. A teacher draws a $ amount of salary per year that is prorated over the 12 month period. This way they draw their salary even if they are not teaching during the summer months. So they too are losing their summer months of vacation. Government run is what most people want--now you have it. Just wait till Government run Health Care come in--Boy oh Boy, you havent' seen nothing compared to what snafu's this will be.

  • rascal ||

    I just came in my mouth again.

  • The Angry Optimist||

    Ladybug - that's not necessarily true. My understanding is that teachers have the option of having their 270 days of pay paid as they go (i.e. receive nine months worth of pay over nine months) OR have the "spread out" option, which spreads the nine months of pay out over the entire year.

    Regardless, if the teachers are getting the "noncounted days" paid AND the "counted" days paid, that is nonsense. Either the days count or they don't - you cannot pay someone for a day that doesn't count.

  • ||

    I'd make sure to send my kids to school drunk on the extra days.



    It it weren't for all the skanky hookers, I would love to be Warty's kid.

    Me: "Hey dad, my science project is due Friday!"

    Warty: "Here, let me show you how run cheap vodka through a Brita filter..."

  • Spartacus||

    What will they do with the kids for those 34 days? They don't have any more State-Approved Curriculum to teach. I predict a sharp spike in DVD rentals.

  • ||

    Is 'Stossel in the Classroom' too much to hope for??

  • JB||

    Maybe public schools do serve a purpose: to teach children that government is dumb.

  • Nick||

    "Maybe public schools do serve a purpose: to teach children that government is dumb."

    Not to gloss over the failures of a great many public schools, but some of the very best schools in the country are public.

    For example:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bronx_High_School_of_Science

  • Zeb||

    "you cannot pay someone for a day that doesn't count."

    I don't know about you, but I sure as fuck would expect to get paid for a day I worked even if some petty bureaucratic fuckup made it officially "not count". I really don't get the hate for teachers I see around here. The teachers didn't do this. And they deserve to get paid for days they work.

  • LarryA||

    What will they do with the kids for those 34 days? They don't have any more State-Approved Curriculum to teach. I predict a sharp spike in DVD rentals.

    They could teach them to set up spreadsheets.

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