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Furlough days save jobs, programs

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Why are the students of the Rocklin Unified School District out of school for the week of Feb. 15-19? This question could be easily answered, “It’s a furlough week.” But, in reality the answer is a bit more complex. During this devastating budget time, funds promised to the schools are being cut. The Rocklin Unified School District was looking for ways to make cuts and/or generate revenue that could be used to offset their deficit, save employee jobs, maintain programs and ensure that the class size would not be greatly increased. It was negotiated and voted upon by the members of the Rocklin Teachers Professional Association that concessions would be made in the amount of four contracted work days. The members of RTPA would have their pay decreased by four days for the 2009-10 school year. This financial contribution, cuts within the budget and concessions by other employee groups did save jobs and programs. The four budget reduction / furlough days are not teaching days, but three inservice days and one teacher work day. The inservice days are normally spread throughout the school year, but were combined with February holidays to create the week of non-school days. The students continue to receive 180 days of mandated, quality instruction. Though this is an unpaid week for the members of RTPA, I know that many members will continue to plan and prepare for the continued success of their students. Barbara Albright Scott, Teacher; President, Rocklin Teachers Professional Association