The Benicia Unified School District lost $11,400 in funding on Wednesday, October 31 when there were about 380 students who were absent from school.
The district receives slightly more than $30 per student per day in unrestricted funds from the state. The state pays that money based on kids in school, so if a student is marked absent, the district doesn’t get paid, even if the absence is excused or verified with a doctor’s note.
According to Assistant Superintendent Michael Gardner, “If a student is not at school, The District does not receive any funding no matter what the reason. The only exception is if a student is going to be absent for more than 5 school-days and less than 20 school-days, we can place them on short term independent study. If they complete the work issued to them than we can claim them as being present.”
In a previous article Benicia Patch reported that 263 students were absent from Benicia High School, but since that time Principal Damon Wright said, “It was closer to 280.”
That same day there were 61 students absent from Benicia Middle School and 43 absent from the district’s 4 elementary schools.
Most of the kids absent from the elementary schools were sick. According to office personnel, there is an outbreak of flu going through the elementary schools.
The high school and middle school are a different story. Many of the students absent from those schools went to San Francisco to help celebrate the Giants victory in the World Series.
According to the office staff at Matthew Turner Elementary School where 11 children were absent from school with verified sickness, one student did go to the parade but not until after he was marked present during morning attendance.
Barbara Aragon, a teacher at Benicia High left the following comment on Patch: On Tuesday, my students told me outright that they would not be coming in Wednesday because they were going to the parade in SF. I wish parents would not allow this.
What do you think? Did you pull your child out of school to attend the parade for the San Francisco Giants? Was it worth all the money it will cost the school district?
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