Furlough Days Contract Ends

Heidi Maupin, Staff Writer

The Acalanes Union High School District will not have furlough days this year because of the expiration of a two-year contract that resulted in five furlough days per school year.

This two-year agreement saved money for the district. AEA (Acalenes Education Association) President and Miramonte teacher Nick Carpenter estimates that the furlough days saved the district just under $1 million per year.

“We originally took the furlough days to help pass the parcel tax,” Carpenter said. “We wanted to show the community that we were willing to make a sacrifice to help them meet us half-way with passing a parcel tax.”

Furlough days are not expected to come back in the future. “I don’t think furlough days are going to come back because the district has a very high reserve,” Carpenter said. “The parcel tax passed, and the state budget didn’t turn out to be as bad as was projected, so the district actually made money over the furlough years.”

“They [the district] also got some federal stimulus that was unexpected. So right now they’re sitting on one of their highest reserves that they’ve had in at least the ten or 15 years I’ve been around,” Carpenter said.

As long as this reserve lasts, furlough days will likely not be reinstated. Teachers will have more days than the previous two years to teach the curriculum to students before final exams, which makes for a more relaxed schedule. The teacher paycheck has also increased because the district now pays for the extra school days.

“It’s harder to have school without breaks since everyone’s usually really stressed out,” junior Ching Fang said. “But I guess in the end it’s worth it because it means that teachers are getting paid.”

Some students are disappointed by the lack of three-day weekends that the furlough days created. “It’s sad that we don’t have a break from school, but the teachers need the income so it’s understandable,” junior Andrea Taminga said.