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Minority Report

Summer School Blues
Author: Maria Orozco

Abel Flores is bummed he will not be able to go to 
summer school. Abel, a junior at Aptos High School, 
was planning to get economics and government classes 
out of the way in order to have enough space for 
college preparation courses his senior year. Yet Abel 
quickly found out the harsh reality of budget strapped 
schools in California; only students who have failed a 
class or are on the verge of not graduating are 
eligible for summer school at Pajaro Valley District 
schools this year. 
The summer school reductions have severely limited the 
number of students who are able to attend summer 
school this year. For many students, the inability to 
attend summer school not only restricts them from many 
activities they might be planning to do, but from 
taking college preparatory course and shortening their 
following year.
“I believe that many students, including myself, want 
to get ahead and improve our GPAs and we should 
therefore be allowed to attend summer school,” Abel 
said. “I find this to be an unfair and unnecessary 
decision, aimed to ruin and interfere with the 
students’ plans for next year.” 
Carolyne Gutierrez, another student from Aptos High 
School, expresses her point of view on the issue in a 
very different way. Although she is part of the group 
of individuals who wanted to attend summer school, she 
said it’s only fair to allow those students who are on 
the verge of not graduating to be the first people 
admitted to summer school. “If the budget cuts are the 
only reason why many students are not going to be 
allowed to attend summer school, than I wouldn’t mind 
talking to the administration and formulating plan to 
fundraise money for the school,” Carolyne said. “In 
this way every student would be given the privilege to 
attend school over the summer.”
The above issues are among the several concerns 
students are dealing with: restriction from advancing 
and the ability to change their schedules for next 
year. Diane Burbank, the Aptos High School principal, 
explains the situation as a political problem. “Last 
year summer school wasn’t offered at Aptos High School 
because of the construction going on in our school,” 
Burbank said. “But this year it is because our 
governor Arnold Schwarzenegger has cut the amount of 
funding for the summer school program, and therefore 
we must prioritize kids who are not on track to 
graduate to be the first allowed to attend summer 
school. I know this is not fair, but it is the best we 
can do. If I have food, some for a starving person, 
and some for one that was less needed, I will give the 
biggest portion to the starving one. With the summer 
school cuts, there is little room for advancement and 
enrichment for students,” Burbank said. 
Should summer school be offered only to those students 
in risk of not graduating? Is this fair to those 
students who are academically excelling, but are 
planning to take summer school as a way to advance, or 
simply get rid-off a few courses? Well, due to budget 
cuts on schools this is no longer a question. This 
choice has caused a great deal of uneasiness among 
those individuals who were hoping to shorten their 
schedule the following year by attending school over 
the summer. Also, for students who received a D grade 
in a class, they will not be able to increase the 
grade through retaking the same class in summer 
school. Some colleges will not accept credit for a 
course with a D grade. No matter how you cut it, 
budget cuts are getting in the way of students wanting 
to advance their academic careers.