thumb_school_bus(1).jpgIn a deal struck between the United Teachers of San Francisco and the SFUSD, the city’s 55,000 K-12 students can now look forward (for slackers) or backward (for teachers’ pets) to an era of less formal schooling. This era will last for only one school year, however, so those that lament students returning en masse to the family farm can fear not.

The 2010-2011 school year will not be exempt from the state’s ongoing financial crisis, and this means that four three-day weekends are planned for a district that has faced the reality of cost-cutting measures that could not avoid effecting students one way or another. Two of these weekends are back heavy, with Monday off – November 1st and April 25th. The other two front heavy, with Friday off – February 4th and March 25th. The expected savings amount to $9.2 million, but with a budget deficit of $113 million the grim drop-in-the-bucket reality of this mildly contentious decision is apparent.

On a somewhat related note, SFUSD has trumpeted the rights of students to include taking a bathroom break when and where they please – it’s a basic human right, isn’t it?

Here’s an idea for filling those district coffers: Allow students to trade bathroom break privileges for cash! It would work as follows. Students have the right to take bathroom breaks at will, but may trade this right (say, for one week, a month…) for an agreed upon price. It may not come anywhere close to noticeably filling in that aforementioned budget deficit bucket, but it’s something.

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