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Sacramento City Unified Strike Possible Ripple Effects: Extra School Days Tacked On At End Of Year

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) -- Friday marked day three of the Sacramento City Unified School District strike, and as we head into the weekend, there's no end in sight.

But could the missed school days have a ripple effect on families -- even after the strike ends?

It's definitely possible that the District will have to tack on the missed days at the end of the year in order to meet the minimum requirements from the California Department of Education.

From the first school bell of the year to the last days of class, California schools are required to meet a minimum number of instructional days and minutes each year. The Department of Education requires 180 days of school and specifies a minimum number of total instructional minutes, varying by grade level.

Many school districts pad in extra days with things like teacher in-service days, just in case.

For instance, remember the teacher sick-out over masking rules at Nevada Union last month? The superintendent told CBS13 they plan ahead for things like fires and public safety power shutoffs so they have extra days to spare and would not have to extend the school year.

But Sac City Unified is a different story.

For instance, an internal audit from 2017 outlines the minimum of number instructional minutes required under the education code and the total minutes negotiated into the Sac City teachers' contract. There was no room for a single missed day. They padded in about an hour and a half for middle schools and eight minutes of extra instruction time for high schoolers.

In a statement Friday, the district told CBS13:

"Other districts often use professional development days to account for lost instruction during a strike. They cancel planned training and use the days for instruction if they have a strike. These extra calendar days range from one to seven in our neighboring school districts. SCUSD has the shortest work year at 180 days, the bare minimum, so the district does not have a cushion to fall back on."

Per the education code, the district may be fined for each day missed during the strike, and the daily fine increases after five days. So far, they're at three days and counting -- days that could now be tacked on at the end of the school year.

CBS13 asked the district when it plans to notify parents whether they'll be extending the school year and what the contingency plans might be.

In a statement, a spokesman said:

"The district is analyzing the fiscal penalties it might face for not meeting this requirement, and will explore options available to address the reduced hours and days of instruction SCUSD students are owed."

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