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East Bay District May Trim School Year To Bare Minimum

CONCORD (KCBS) – One of the largest school districts in the East Bay is looking at trimming its academic year to minimum levels in an attempt to save millions of dollars.

The Mt. Diablo School District, which serves 36,000 Contra Costa children from Bay Point to Lafayette, would save an estimated $6 million this year by furloughing teachers for seven days.

That would leave the district with 175 school days, the state minimum.

KCBS' Holly Quan Reports:

On Tuesday night, the Mt. Diablo School Board will review the proposal, which calls for furloughs on five school days and two teacher work days.

Board President Gary Eberhart said he resents the state for putting school districts in this kind of fiscal situation.

"Every politician in California says that their number one goal is increasing student performance in California, all up and down the state," Eberhart said. "For them to sit in Sacramento and create these budgets that don't work for school districts, then suggest that we shorten our school year, it's completely ridiculous."

According to the Legislative Analyst's Office, last year, 81 percent of California's school districts kept their academic years at 180 days.

However this year, the number is down to 42 percent. If the state doesn't pull in enough tax revenue by December, mid-year budget cuts could shorten some districts by as much as two weeks.

(Copyright 2011 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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