After nearly four months of anticipation and heated protests, the Bakersfield City School District finalized its decision to cut the original summer school program.
The program has been on the chopping block since December. The program serves about 3,000–mostly at-risk kids, low-income students, and English-language learners.
Cecilia Delgado, a parent of two children who attend BCSD schools, shared her story, “my children have attended every year–not by choice at first. It was more like a must because I was full-time employed. But throughout the years, they started loving it. They got to meet other kids from other schools; they got to learn things ahead of time.”
At the final decision meeting, parents and teachers eagerly awaited a big announcement either declaring the end or the revival of summer school.
“My kids were still excited about having them change their mind at the last minute,” said Cecilia Delgado, a parent of two children who attend BCSD schools.
However, the district board did not address summer school at all during the hours-long meeting. It was behind closed doors where they finalized their decision to eliminate the program.
Ultimately, the decision was made due to budget cuts, saving the district 1.7 million dollars.
Last month, the district announced a summer program for four of the lowest performing schools. However, that is funded by a separate grant–not any part of the $1.7 million originally allotted to summer school.
As for where the $1.7 million is going?
“At this point, they haven’t said what they’re doing with the money,” Delgado said.
She added, “I just hope that in the future if they want to cut or eliminate any other programs, that they do get input from parents.”
The district declined to comment following their decision.