Kids lose their summer break due to impenetrable bureaucratic mess

A bureaucratic boondoggle in the western San Bernardino County, California school district will cost the students their summer breaks -- the schools inadvertently introduced a school-time shortfall amounting to two school days' worth of instruction time over the entire school year. Due to a quirk of regulation, they have to keep the schools in session for an extra thirty four days or lose $7 million in funding.

"We made an error on the minimum days of about five minutes," said Dickson Principal Sue Pederson. "Realistically, that's our accounting mistake as adults. We're unfortunately making the children pay for it by making them give up their summer."

Students at each school exceeded the state's requirement of at least 54,000 minutes of annual classroom time, but the problem arose in the district's minimum days. Schools typically have one shortened day per week, allowing teachers to use the remaining time for planning and parent conferences. Under state law, these days must be at least 180 minutes, and the daily average classroom time over 10 consecutive days must be 240 minutes.

An internal audit in early May discovered that 34 minimum days had been 175 minutes at Dickson and 170 at Rolling Ridge, said district spokeswoman Julie Gobin. That adds up to a shortage of 170 and 340 minutes, respectively, which could be made up in one or two school days. But under state law, these too-short days do not count at all, meaning that all 34 must be made up to avoid a state penalty of more than $7 million.

"The penalties for not meeting the instructional time requirements are high, much higher than just making up of the time," said Hilary McLean, spokeswoman for the state Department of Education. "It was the intent of the Legislature to make the penalties so stiff [in order] to discourage districts from shaving off minutes here and there."

Chino district's error delays summer break by 34 school days for some students (via Neatorama)

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  1. Those poor kids. That really sux 4 them. I hope the teachers let them run amok and play video games and stuff to atone for the way they’ve shafted them.

  2. what do you expect from the same minds that bring “zero-tolerance” policies to schools and expel kids for asprin?

  3. Doesnt the US have a teacher’s trade union that can put a stop to this bureaucratic joke?

  4. Personally I don’t see how punishing the kids hurts the teachers and administrators. The kids showed up, for the time they were supposed (so they thought)to. If you want to punish the administration, make them serve the 34 days at the school preparing for the next year, (without pay), and working on other things in the schools, but don’t punish the kids and the families that had vacations planned, etc. It’s not the kids fault, it’s not the parent’s fault, it’s the administration’s fault, punish the people who were at fault.

  5. So… 170 + 340 = 0? And it takes 34 whole school days to “make up” for what amounted to less than two school days?

    I think we have some so-called “adults” that need to attend school from June 15th to July 31st to acquire the basic math skills required to function in tomorrow’s work force. Frankly, these legislators don’t sound like they’re qualified to flip burgers, unless the patties are pre-cut.

    On the other hand, kudos to Principal Pederson! Clerical goofs happen, and the error was a small one. But it’s always gratifying when an administrator apologizes rather than dishing out blame.

  6. Hey, this may not be so bad. We have year-round schools in my town and the kids love it. It’s got a lot to do with expectations. And the learning loss is real–why does the US let kiddies out during the summer months? So they can get busy and help out with the harvest. Hello? We are not an agrarian society anymore, folks. Giving up all summer makes no sense.

  7. The reason the U.S. lets kiddies out during the summer months is so they can get busy lacing Nike shoes from 5AM to 11PM or deep frying the Chihuahuas at Taco Bell.

  8. Like others, I can see some potential benefit to extending the school year. However, the fact the extension is not based on a thoughtful, considered decision intended to benefit the kids, but on ponderous and inflexible bureaucracy and a few bucks kinda strips away any warm fuzzy I might get from this.

  9. I know this won’t be popular, but I’ll say it anyway. It may be the fault of poor bureaucracy, but let’s face it – do kids really need 3 months between school years to forget all the shit they just “learned?” What are they doing? Helping their parents tend the crops and cattle?

    Compare it to say, Japanese summer break which is like 2 weeks and the space between school years (in spring) is typically 2 weeks.

  10. Are the teachers, bus drivers, cafeteria people, janitors and others getting paid for this extra time? It would seem when there are issues with paying for a ‘normal’ school year that it would be kill the budget for them to pay for this extra month and a half.

    As a parent do you have a right to take off for the summer and not make your kid go to school if they attended all of the days that were required during the ‘normal’ school year?

    From an economic, and common sense, standpoint this doesn’t make any sense to me.

  11. “You will never understand bureaucracies until you understand that for bureaucrats procedure is everything and outcomes are nothing.” -Thomas Sowell

    What I don’t get is how much does an extra 34 days of school cost? i.e. labour, maintenance, insurance. Can’t someone use some common-sense and allow a special one-time get-out-of-jail-free card that circumvents this stupidity?

    I agree with the parent at the end of the article, I just wouldn’t send my kid. What are they going to do? 32 days of busy work?

  12. Kids do need the extra schooling nowadays, since most of us don’t work farms during the summer. But… as a parent… and if I lived in that school district… I would make no alterations to our summer plans, vacations, camps, art classes, etc. That’s the school district’s own fault and they have no right to mess with what we do every summer.

  13. Principle seems reasonable. The state and the district not so much.

    (If I was the principle I would give out report cards on the last day of June and then ‘require’ kids to keep coming)

  14. @Redmonkey, #14 – Most teachers get paid year-round, though I’m not sure about the clerical or janitorial staff members, so this shouldn’t cause that much of an increase WRT the budget.

    Personally, I think schools should just go year-round and be done with it. Give the kids 2 weeks off over the christian holidays and 2 weeks off in the summer. In addition to preventing the summer learning loss (and subsequent wasted time in the fall going over what they forgot), you’d also have the benefit of not having the kids space out for three weeks every May/June.

    Also, given that the working world is basically year-round, it’d just help get the kids used to reality that much sooner.

  15. Summer breaks are not just for kids, but also for Teachers. The teachers in my home district got 2 weeks off in the summer, then spent the remaining 2 1/2 months in training to become better teachers. Such a policy allowed The particular school district was considered one of the best in the state.

  16. Hey, these kids are learning a valuable life lesson. When a government employee fucks up, YOU pay for it.

  17. Honestly wish this would happen in my town. It beats the 2340$ I have to pay for two months of summer care for my two children (7, 10). Doubly worth it because of the educational benefits. With year round school they might not focus so much on preparing for the standardized testing and actually teach some learning skills. (For instance, my 10 year old who scores above the 95th percentile, scored _lower_ on the end-of grade tests than he did on the same test that was given at the beginning of the year. 4th grade apparently sucked knowledge _out_ of him!)

  18. @17 – Aren’t the teachers paid year round, but they’re not expected to work during the summer unless they’re signed up for summer school? Do they get paid extra for summer school?

    That would be like an employer telling you after working the majority of the year that we’re not going to give you that vacation we promised, oh and you’re not going to get paid for the extra work either.

  19. I don’t think teachers get paid year round. Obviously that depends heavily on the district, city, or state. But in many, they get a nine-month salary. They can opt to be paid over twelve months but it’s the same amount they would have been paid over nine.

  20. Okay, I’m not the first person to make any of these observations, but I certainly think they bear repeating.

    Observation the First: this is yet another example of how foolish, inflexible, inefficient bureaucracy is foolish, inflexible and inefficient, which I think was first proved definitively by either the Babylonians or the Assyrians.

    Observation the Second: while my 12 year-old self would be horrified, three months of summer vacation is foolish, inflexible, inefficient, and a real barrier to learning.

    So in conclusion, as my 12 year-old self would have ended his essay, we have seen that while this particular case is bad, a systemic change in this direction would be good.

  21. Re: Extra costs for being open the extra 3 months.

    Actually, most schools are actually “open” 12 months of the year – the summer months are generally just extra light on teachers and students.

    During the summer months you would generally have paperwork and other administrative duties to finish up the previous year and prepare for the next. You also would have summer school bringing in some students and teachers, as well as various other activities that make use of the school facilities (sports, community classes, etc.). Summer is also generally when a school would have any needed renovations being done.

    With all of the above happening, you would still have need of the same administrative staff, janitorial staff, and other support staff.

    The real problem here will be the teachers; depending on their contracts, and if they use the same wording as the state statute causing this, they may not actually be obligated to show up past their usual “done for the summer” date. The school also may or may not be required to pay for these extra days, once again depending on the contracts. Either way, this is the sort of thing that could cause a strike if it’s mandatory extra days (many teachers have summer jobs to supplement their salary that would be ruined by the loss of a month).

    The real solution here is for the local legislature to call an emergency session to fix the problem; they show up for an extra day so the students/teachers don’t have to show up for an extra thirty.

  22. I wouldn’t have survived high school (grade 7 to 11 in Quebec) if it hadn’t been for the 2-month long summer break. School was hell and bullying, while the summer break was friends, NES and SNES games, hikes in the wood, and swimming in the lake. Yet despite the yearly summer break respite, I had to run away from my school at the beginning of Grade 11 – staying would have meant swallowing a bottle of pills or the rope.

    I was a straight-A student, BTW. Those two extra months of schooling would just have meant listening over and over again to stuff I learned and understood months ago. If education is one of the most valuable things in the world, mandatory school attendance has to be one of the dumbest – especially in high school.

  23. Good. This will breed vitriolic contempt for bureaucracies into every last one of these kids, and offers a wonderful opportunity for them to practice civil disobedience.

    I used to yell and scream and wave my arms when people got dicked by the government, but now i welcome it – anything that will piss The People off can only serve to accelerate the reconstruction of our broken country.

  24. If you forget shit over the summer, you didn’t really know it in the first place.

    However, i think that at most, the kids ought to have 3 weeks off. But they’ll still turn out grossly undereducated and unprepared for the world, as the schools are little more than cattle farms – no real responsibility, no real freedom, no resources and facilities in which the kids can have their own projects going. Everything is curriculum or it isn’t, and CYA if it isn’t. We need schools that are less like prison and are more like college.

    then again, we all know which of the two our schools are more likely to turn out candidates for.

  25. Well, one thing these kids are going to learn in their extra month of school is that the adults around them, and the system they’re living in, are utterly lacking in common sense. Another thing they’ll learn is that the rules governing the system are disconnected from reality and that “it makes no rational sense” is an argument that no longer carries any weight in America. Which is good training to be the obedient, unthinking drones that today’s America seems to want.

  26. You know, for all of you who think that suddenly being required to stay in school an extra 34 days is a good thing: some of these kids, especially the less-affluent ones nearing graduation, may have been counting on their summer breaks to allow them to find summer jobs to earn some extra money to pay for college, etc. And now they’ll have to do without that because of some idiotic bureaucratic rule.

  27. Here’s what I don’t get – how much will it cost in teacher salary for the additional 30-some days the teachers are going to be in class, working?

    Are the teachers being asked to work for free? (I seriously doubt that) It seems like they are spending something approaching $7M to retain the $7M in school funding… (Once you add in teacher, custodian, administration, electricity, busing, etc. as well as the costs of transporting and instructing all the special needs children this impacts)

    NDOLLAK asked:

    it takes 34 whole school days to “make up” for what amounted to less than two school days?

    If you don’t have enough minutes in the day, the day doesn’t count – period. That they only missed one or two minutes a day is enough to knock-out the entire day.

    I am SO glad I am neither a parent nor an administrator in that district – I bet the next election will be “fun”.

  28. I know quite a few teachers. They work far more than full time when school is in session and get the summer off as compensation. And yet, they still spend most of that summer “vacation” creating lesson plans, putting together projects and exams, assembling materials that the school district is probably not going to pay for. A lot of teachers also go to school to get a Masters during the summer session. They get paid for the whole year and they mostly work the whole year.

  29. #38, the point, or at least my point, isn’t that the last-minute addition of 34 days of school because of some bureaucratic snafu is a good thing. Clearly, that’s undesirable and unfair.

    The point is that we are at the bottom of the educational barrel amongst industrialized nations, and not coincidentally, we require the absolute least number of school days. While more school doesn’t automatically mean more education, the correlation is pretty close, and pretty obvious. The more schooling kids get, the better their scores are, the more education they get, and the better-prepared they are for post-scholastic life. (See last week’s Economist for more data and explanation.)

    You may be upset that the kids at this school will have to cancel this summer’s burger-flipping engagements at the last minute, and you’re right that that isn’t fair. In the larger picture, however, burger-flipping is about all they’ll do after graduation if we don’t get serious about requiring more school hours, more school days, and more school work.

  30. #24, that’s the way I feel about public schools in general – it’s just a way to legally pick my pocket to pay for babysitting for people who are parents. You can’t seriously claim that those kids are getting an actual education, after all.

  31. isn’t the whole state of California broke? Like, so broke that the Governator is going to kill the state welfare programs? Like, 50 days away from defaulting on debt and payments to state employees?

    Where do they think the $7 million is going to come from?

  32. Whether or not sumer should be three months long is irrelevant. These kids and their families expected 3 months, planned for 3 months, and did NOT screw up. The administration should all be fired, but only after spending 30 days in a forced labor camp away from their families, which is the adult equivalent of making kids stay in school for an extra month in the summer.

    I just don’t understand why the kids and their parents are the ones being punished here. Typical government. This is why we need other options besides being trapped in the same crappy government school that just happens to be near where your parents’ were able to get jobs and find a home. Trapping kids in bad public schools with no way out is a human rights violation, you are taking away their right to be educated by forcing them into a place where they will NOT be educated.

  33. Did you notice the school hours? 8:00-12:30.

    That’s 5 minutes longer than one of their regular school days?!? And this setup must really screw up childcare arrangements. 4th, 5th and 6th graders aren’t old enough to be left at home on their own, but now they can’t do all day daycare of any type. I foresee lots of absenteeism over the summer.

  34. Regardless of its effect (and I know some of you love year-round school years) these kids are being forced to stay for a totally stupid reason. If we decide to keep kids over for the summers it should be a matter of debate on its own terms.

    I was always a fan of five-hour school days year-round with a couple of weeks during the summer for vacation. If the teachers learned how to budget time effectively rather than wasting time with stupid nonsense they could more than make up the difference, and even if they didn’t the gains from continual learning would still be great.

  35. I have to believe that most of the parents aren’t going to send their kids into school for an extra month due to the admins being idiots.

  36. I was going to complain and say that this sucks for the kids, but then I remembered that I had year round school when I was in elementary. I just hope they don’t make it too hard on the kids, maybe take them on lots of field trips and don’t freak out if the parents pull the kid out of class for a week or two of vacation trip.

  37. @ Mesrop #50:

    That’s not really the same thing, most “year-round” schools have several breaks during the year instead of one big one during the summer.

  38. People have commented – what’s this going to cost? Assuming the school has no recourse — that it’s either be fined or go to school for another 34 days — the question is, is holding school for these 34 days signficantly less expensive than just paying the fine? And apparently it is.

  39. Staying open an extra day is going to cost the school two hundred thousand dollars. They are staying open because $200 000<<$7 000 000. Also, there is currently a bill being pushed through the CA legislature that would allow this school a break. Straight form the article, guys.

  40. Absolutely ridiculous. The schools should man up and take responsibility for their actions, rather than forcing everyone else to deal with the problem.

    I agree that year-round schooling is better… but that comes with longer breaks throughout the year resulting in the same duration of education. These students are losing breaks that they would have earned through either system, through no fault of their own.

  41. An associate superintendent at the district, who is retiring this year, has taken responsibility for the errors.

    I think that they have a very different definition of taking responsibility than I do. “Yup, I fucked up, kthxbai.” doesn’t really cut it.

  42. sounds like whoever was in charge of the math for counting their time may have been a product of the British Columbia school system.

  43. Mr Science … didn’t see that in the article sorry…. but assuming that’s correct, and assuming that 34 extra days is 34 x 1 extra day, that’s just plain stupid.

  44. @ everyone saying that three months is a block to learning must not have really used that summer break. Summer was a time when i could explorer and do things on my own. Thus learning about all kinds of stuff. Stuff you cant teach in a classroom. To rob children of that is simply horrendous.

  45. Just a couple of weeks ago the papers here (Los Angeles area) were all over the cancellation of summer school, and how kids weren’t going to be able to graduate, or what were parents who had to work going to do with the children since there was no summer school. So here’s summer school. It sure is difficult to please people.

  46. As the partner of a teacher, I can say that this is terrible for the teachers.

    First, they have to be getting paid extra — not being paid extra would be absurd, and I’m sure it would be a breech of their contract. Yes, they are being paid “year round,” but this includes vacation time which they are not getting, so essentially they are being asked to cash in their vacation time. Cashing in your vacation time normally nets you, well, cash.

    Second, most teachers I know already use (some are required to use) a portion of their vacation for professional development. Assuming they have budgeted 2-4 weeks PD, they are getting their vacation time slashed in half.

    Finally, while many studies have shown that children benefit greatly from extended school years, teachers absoluely benefit from time to unwind. Find some MEd suckers students to teach over the summer.

  47. @58 Yes…it’s the difference between “knowing about something” and “knowing something”. To “know something” you have to get your butt out of the classroom seat and experience it, not just read the text and pass the test. It’s the difference between reading about a flower and knowing it when you see it in bloom. It’s an entirely different type of knowledge. Summer is exactly that time to give those growing brains a rest from focusing on tests and sitting still, and instead learn about the world outside the classroom. Which is both grand and important. I don’t want a generation of kids who knows how to sit still, please the state, and ace the multiple choice questions. I want a generation whose learning happens everywhere. And who knows when taking a rest is important.

    The best way for kids to learn physics is build a treehouse and fall out of it. Maybe even outside the classroom!

  48. As an employee of a public school district in SoCal (not too far from San Bernardino County), when I read this story, my first thought was: “Yeah, sounds about right.”

    I’m not surprised by this kind of thing anymore. Anyone here complaining or bitching about this needs to spend a *week* working for a public school – you’ll very quickly see how utterly moronic our education system is. It doesn’t matter how good your intentions are, or that you want to help students build better lives for themselves, all that matters is that the system be obeyed.

    If people really knew the stupidity that goes on in public school administration, well, they probably still wouldn’t care enough to actually do anything about it; though, it may raise a few eyebrows, then be quickly forgotten once the next celebrity sex-tape scandal comes along.

    Sorry to sound so pessimistic, that’s just what disillusionment does to a person. At least there are some administrators, teachers, and support staff out there who do care about students *and* will make an effort to fight a system which discourages that.

  49. Summer Learning Loss my ass. Three months off in the summer is NOT a significant reason kids don’t retain what they’ve learned. The sheer amount of time wasted in the classroom in my K-12 was mind-boggling, and coupled with ineffective teaching methods and teachers who are seeing the material for the first time when they open the textbook, is a recipe for non-learning. If we had schools with good teachers who actually know and are passionate about the material and weren’t bound by asinine state standards and psychotic school districts and nosy whiny parents, the kids could learn twice as much in half the time. Like they do in college (where I had to un-learn a bunch of the bogus crap I’d been fed previously).

    Not to mention this ridiculous arrogance that the only place kids can learn things is in school.

    Plop kids in a desk in a room for 6 hours a day, 5 days a week, 9 months a year, and insist they do as they’re told and only follow the exact instructions given them, and 10 years later everyone is bemoaning their obesity and lack of decision-making capabilities and common sense. Quick, someone call a Waaaaaaaahmbulance!

    More “minutes” in the classroom (what is this, a wireless plan?) is NOT the answer.

    This is school, not day care. Government has no business mandating that children go to day care 6 hours a day.

    End rant.

  50. @55:

    Indeed! Taking responsibility would entail shelling out $7 million or driving to Sacramento and not sleeping until things have been fixed.

  51. #17 – that’s great, until the school district forces your kid to repeat 5th grade for missing too many days of school.

  52. #38 Anonymous: The affected students are in the fourth, fifth, and sixth grade. They have at least six more years before college, and most of them would probably not have summer jobs this summer anyway.

  53. Funding or penalty?

    From Cory’s intro:

    Due to a quirk of regulation, they have to keep the schools in session for an extra thirty four days or lose $7 million in funding. [emphasis added]

    From the Fine Article:

    But under state law, these too-short days do not count at all, meaning that all 34 must be made up to avoid a state penalty of more than $7 million. [emphasis added]

    A loss in funding is not the same as a penalty, and they are not mutually exclusive, but they are not the same thing…

  54. If a parent takes the kid out of school in that timeframe – say, for example, for a previously planned visit with Gramma and Grampa in another city – will the kid flunk their grade?

    If not, then will we simply see teachers sitting in near-empty classrooms and getting paid for it? Was that the game within a game all along?

  55. The country’s in the very best of hands.

    “…our mistakes as adults…”???? Sounds like the adults have left the building and the children are running things out there.

  56. Not sure how they do things in California, but in Virginia, we teachers do NOT get paid in the summer. If this was a high school, my guess is that the students would mostly be “home sick” and the “summer instruction” would pretty much be a joke, given that this is being sprung on the instructional staff with zero advance planning and zero additional resources.

    Since this is an elementary school, my guess is that parents who have already made plans will continue with those plans and keep their kids “home sick”. The remaining parents will be saying “Woo Hoo, don’t have to pay for summer daycare!” Kids will get a 30-day summer camp/recess, not meaningful instruction will take place, and the biggest punishment will fall on the people who didn’t make the mistake.

  57. To all the people saying kids need more time in school: Oh come off it! We are functioning adults and we had more time off than they have even when they aren’t screwed over. Are they dumber than we are — not likely!

  58. Teachers do NOT get paid year-’round. Many can opt for plans that divide their 10 months of salary equally over 12 months. At least, that’s the way it’s been anywhere I’ve never taught or knew someone who taught. Most states’ school years are c. 200 days. No overtime available. Extra pay only for extra work (like, for example, summer school). Wish it were otherwise — then somebody would owe me back pay for 24 summers!
    As for so-called, year-’round school, it really isn’t. Still only those 200 or so days, just divided differently. Shorter summer, 2- to 3-week breaks between grading periods.
    As for this particular school district, I’d assume employees were already paid for those days during the regular school year. They won’t get paid for them again. If 34 school days didn’t count, then they owe the district for 34 days for which they were paid, which they will make up during the summer.

  59. I get that the kids go home at 2:30 to give the teachers time to prepare for the next day — sort of like old fashioned bankers hours when bankers had to do all kinds of manual bookkeeping. But how is it fair that the average teacher in California gets paid $65,808 and only works 180 days? Most people with similar years of education work closer to 245 days a year and get paid less. By the way, according to all those hated standardized tests, California students — taught by the highest paid teachers in the union — perform well below average. The system is seriously broken.

  60. They have to make up 34 school days, so unless they’re going on Saturdays and Sundays, that’s almost 7 weeks.

    Incidentally, has anybody shown that missing 340 minutes (i.e. five hours, forty minutes) of school over the course of a year has actually measurably reduced what they learned?

  61. @74: Please cite your source. This site, for instance, lists average salaries between $43K and $56K, depending on level of education and experience.

    Teachers generally have to work more than 40 hours a week, a fact that you have left out of your ungenerous calculation.

  62. Good. One less summer where the kids push the reset button on their brain. Every study out there shows that long summer breaks are horrific for learning.

  63. michaelkolper said:

    @74: Please cite your source. This site, for instance, lists average salaries between $43K and $56K, depending on level of education and experience.

    The link you provided was an ad for getting a Masters Degree to increase your income potential as a teacher in CA and based on three and four year-old data…

    The answer was easily googled by using the search term “$65,808 california teacher”, which turned up this fascinating link at the Sacremento Bee where you can see by school what the teachers make (lowest possible, highest, and average, as well as other interesting data points) in each school district in CA.

    From the Sacramento Bee link, it seems that the lowest possible salary in the Chino Unified District is $42,844, the highest possible is $87,709, with an average of $73,141.

    I can only imagine what the administrators make in that district – you know, the folks that couldn’t understand the regulation that defined school day calculations. (The regulations can be worded oddly, but there must have been someone available to “check their math”…)

  64. I’ll reiterate what only one commenter has said so far: Is school the only place where learning takes place? I think if anything kids are overscheduled compared to previous generations. Kids who don’t ever have time to explore, to imagine and to experiment and try and fail have far fewer internal resources than kids who do. In a general system that is content with stamping numbers on kids’ foreheads instead of actually helping them develop potential, no amount of lost summers is going to help.

  65. This is ridiculous. “That adds up to a shortage of 170 and 340 minutes, respectively, which could be made up in one or two school days. But under state law, these too-short days do not count at all, meaning that all 34 must be made up to avoid a state penalty of more than $7 million.” The law needs to be adjusted so the kids only need to do the time they missed.

  66. maybe the government should go back to school before making any more moronic changes >.>

    I wonder, how many people that have commented here that are actually in school and experiencing these dynamic changes? As a sophomore in high school who read all the comments, not many.

    As a kid I always looked forward to having some time to do all of the fun things that I wanted, not needing to worry about having to lead up to somebody’s expectations the next day. How can we take away the very thing that made our childhoods special?

    I know that grades are going down in many schools. But, that is because of the lack of materials and funded education. Not because of the lack of kids sitting in chairs all summer.

    You can go ahead and choose to ignore this statement. But as somebody who has a first person view of the situation, I think I should have a chance to speak my opinion.

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