How Much Money Does a Day at the Parade Cost Benicia Schools?

With nearly 400 students absent from school on the same day as the parade honoring the San Francisco Giants, the Benicia Unified School District lost a significant amount of funding.

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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If there’s something in this article you think should be corrected, or if something else is amiss, call editor JB Davis at 707-628-0051 or email him at benicia@patch.com.

James November 03, 2012 at 05:31 AM
Would have been better to have the parade on Saturday!
Rhonda November 03, 2012 at 11:17 PM
I agree! I wrote to the Giants about the loss of Bay Area school revenue and received this response: Thank you for writing and sharing your thoughts with us. Many of our players do not live in the area so when the season is over, many want to get home right away. Hence the reason, the parade is scheduled a day or two after any championship game. Regards, San Francisco Giants Guest Services
Amused November 04, 2012 at 03:18 PM
Really???? Have something better to do. The world doesn't revolve around Benicia. Taking the time to email the Giants is almost as pathetic as the fact I'm even commenting. Get over it people.
Rhonda November 04, 2012 at 07:08 PM
I'm sorry to hear of your myopia. Bigger picture - the Bay Area (California) experienced a mass absence - which is what I emailed about. SFUSD released a press release before the parade saying that they could not afford the absences. Some SF schools had 75% attendance! This is a loss for school budgets. I find it strange that you think it is pathetic to email the Giants. Should I just complain in the local Patch instead?
Phil M November 05, 2012 at 09:21 PM
I don’t like how we are not worried about what the students are missing. But rather how much money the school is not going to get. It is never good whenever you view a child in the eyes of a dollar sign. ________________________________________ Find a Career College near you, www.americolleges.com


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