Possible Furlough Days Move Up Graduation Date

Victor Lam and Briana Smith

This year’s seniors will be graduating on Monday, May 20, 2013 due to the possibility of furlough days if Governor Brown’s proposal, Proposition 30, does not pass.

If Proposition 30 does pass, taxes will be raised and no further school days will be cut from the year.

Proposition 30 would increase the state’s tax revenue by $6 billion from 2012-2013 through 2016-2017.

For seven years, it would increase personal income taxes for those making over $250,000 a year, thereby preventing further budget cuts to schools and public safety.

If the proposition fails, however, the school could face up to thirteen days cut off the end of the year.

“Underclassmen could get out of school as early as May 24 or as late as June 5,” Principal Brian Ginter said.

Because Wednesday, June 5, the original graduation date, is a proposed furlough day, Ginter was forced to move graduation to the latest possible date before the proposed furlough days so he could make reservations with the Sacramento Memorial Auditorium.

The deposit for the facility is due before the November election, so he could not wait for the results to decide.

We have to deal with a few logistical things,” Ginter said. “But from my point of view, it’s not that big of a deal for seniors.”

Nevertheless, the early graduation date has caused concerns over traditional end of the year activities.

For example, some athletes are concerned that graduation will affect their ability to play in spring playoffs. However, Athletic Director Karen Hanks said that play-offs should be over and that players would not lose eligibility.

The early graduation date poses a challenge not only for sports, but for academic courses as well.

“As a teacher I don’t mind the days off, but I’m hoping the students will be able to get through their material in the given time,” political science teacher Linda Reed said. “I’m concerned some of the students in the AP classes are not going to be able to cover everything, and may have to cut corners in order to get through as much as possible.”

Yearbook faces a special challenge.

“We have had to move up our delivery date by three weeks,” yearbook adviser Michael Mahoney said. “To ensure that we cover as much of the year as possible, we are paying extra to have several pages printed later then rush-delivered to be inserted in the book. We are still going to cover sping events.”

The number of furlough days is dependent upon the passage of Proposition 30 or Proposition 38 in November. If either passes, there will likely be no further furlough days besides the day already scheduled.

“I hope it passes,” said Reed. “It won’t cover all of the things that are going to be cut in education in the state of California, so I would encourage people to vote yes on both 30 and 38.”

While multi-millionaire Molly Munger’s bill, Proposition 38, offers a broader tax increase providing more funds, it will also leave a larger impact in the pockets of the middle class.

“Molly Munger’s proposition is solely about education,” Reed said. “The prop that Brown is doing has many faces on it, and in good intent will give a lot of money to post-secondary education systems including junior colleges, CSUs, et cetera.”

In other nations, more taxes are paid, but education is fully funded as well as other social issues such as health care.

“I don’t believe Governor Brown or anyone else really wants these cuts in education, but theres only so much money in the checkbook.”

“That’s why he’s brought his bill to the people and asked them to face the reality of the situation: school budgets are going to be cut. Teachers are losing their jobs.”