General Question

Macaulay's avatar

Explain furlough days in education and how they affect our teachers and students?

Asked by Macaulay (778points) February 11th, 2010

I understand that furloguh days are those which teachers are required to not work and are also not given pay. The system is further manipulated by making pre- and post- planning days furlough (in which the teacher really has no option but to work and is refused pay). How much money is this saving the average school district? The state? What are other alternatives rather than taking two days out of each school month?
Do teachers not sign a contract with their salary posted? Furlough days clearly disregard any predetermined salary.
Are superintendents furloughed? Who’s benefitting from this?

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4 Answers

theichibun's avatar

Teachers are not told how to spend their furlough days. Things need to get done, and if a teacher has to work that day to grade papers/get the room ready/etc. then you can be they’ll do it.

njnyjobs's avatar

Aren’t teachers hired on a contract basis and are paid an annual salary as stated on the contract? Also included in the contract are the job description or work expectations. Given these two items, wouldn’t pre- and post-planning days be considered as part of your contract stipulations, being activities necessary to fulfill your work obligations.

Superintendents do not get furloughed, they also have contracts to fulfill. Besides, they are like the CEOs of School Districts. Do you ever hear of CEOs of businesses getting furloughed?

In cases when teachers and other non-teaching staff are actually furloughed, meaning asked to stay out of work for an unpaid day, the probable reasons may include the necesity to meet school district budget. In this case, the tax-payers are the one’s primarily benefitting from it.

YARNLADY's avatar

The entire furlough fiasco in California is based on a misconception and has rocketed out of control. They are actually hiring people to come in part-time to do the work that the furloughed people were doing. It’s just crazy.

Welcome to the world of half-baked ideas in politics.

Allie's avatar

From a students perspective, it’s not good. If you have a class that meets twice a week for ten weeks, that’s 20 class meeting a quarter. Take away two (on average) because those are exam days and you’re left with 18 meetings in a quarter. Now, some professors might not choose to furlough a class day (and in my school system they’ve blatantly been told they can’t furlough a class day, but that’s not the case in all school systems) but non-class days are also beneficial to students. Whereas you may have gone in to an office hour to talk to a professor one day, now you’ll have to wait or try to reach them my e-mail which they may or may not respond to.
Regarding staff furloughs: Those are the people who help students with day to day things. Have a question about which classes you need to take? Ask your advisor. Oh wait, you can’t, she’s on furlough. Need to talk to the TA about something you didn’t understand in class? Sorry, they’re on furlough. I understand there are way around these issues (such as e-mail), but the point is it creates even more of a hassle for everyone.

Setting aside the furlough days, the budget cuts have hurt schools (and yes, it’s quite evident that it has done so) in many other ways. Classes offered in any given term are being cut. That class you were planning on taking winter quarter? Sorry, it’s only offered fall quarter now. Class size for remaining classes is increasing. I was in a class last quarter where there weren’t enough chairs for each student and kids were sitting on the floor each class. That’s ridiculous. (I understand these are though times, but can we at least have a chair? Really?) Resources for faculty, staff, and students are being cut all across campus. Last year students were allowed to print 60 pages from the library copy room for free, this year we get 30. Professors aren’t limited on how many pages they print, but they’ve been explicitly asked by the departments to stop printing out handouts or study guides and tell students to print them out. Hey, thanks.


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