Hayward Unified agrees to make cuts

February 11, 2009 12:00:00 AM PST
The Hayward Unified School District had to make difficult cuts on Wednesday night. Schools won't close like they will in other districts, but lots of programs and jobs will be gone.

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The Hayward Unified School District is facing an $18 million budget deficit and that prompted the board to make big cuts. Among them is the elimination of the class size reduction program for kindergarten through third grade, which means instead of 20 students per class there will be as many as 34.

The board also voted to get rid of block scheduling, which for high school students, now means six classes per year, instead of eight. Both programs require a total of 150 fewer teachers.

The move generated outrage among the people who showed up on Wednesday night, especially high school students who have grown fond of block scheduling.

"It makes school fun for me and if they take away the block, they take away that," said Katherine Viloria, a Mt. Eden High School student.

"They're basically denying us opportunities to excel and to make up classes and to experience wonderful things," said Roy Casas, a Mt. Eden High School student.

"Students will still graduate high school, students will have sports, students will have music. Many, many people, most of the high schools in the state of California operate under a traditional six periods," said Barry Schimmel, the Hayward Unified assistant superintendent.

So, tough decisions were made, but according to the school district, they are necessary to bridge its $18 million budget deficit.

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