Absence Makes the Wallet Grow Thinner

February 14, 2007 1 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

It’s perhaps a sign of the times—when public schools are being pressured to pour every available resource into acing standardized tests—that the Scotts Valley Unified School District in California is asking parents to donate $36.13 for each school day a student is absent. The exception: sick days. “If a child is sick, we want that child to stay at home,” Superintendent Susan Silver explained. “But if a child is out skiing or going to Disneyland or whatever, that has a financial effect on other children in the district.” That’s because California funds schools according to daily attendance, not overall enrollment. Last year, the district lost $223,500, with the average student missing 7.7 days—more than two for reasons other than sickness. Silver, who’s helmed the Scotts Valley district for just over a year, brought the idea with her from another district, which raked in $30,000 annually. And parents have been receptive—mainly because the donation is voluntary and tax-deductible. Already, after just a few weeks of the policy being in place, district officials have collected more than $2,000

A version of this news article first appeared in the Web Watch blog.


Student Well-Being K-12 Essentials Forum Boosting Student and Staff Mental Health: What Schools Can Do
Join this free virtual event based on recent reporting on student and staff mental health challenges and how schools have responded.
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Curriculum Webinar
Practical Methods for Integrating Computer Science into Core Curriculum
Dive into insights on integrating computer science into core curricula with expert tips and practical strategies to empower students at every grade level.
Content provided by

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

Education Briefly Stated: October 11, 2023
Here's a look at some recent Education Week articles you may have missed.
8 min read
Education Briefly Stated: September 27, 2023
Here's a look at some recent Education Week articles you may have missed.
9 min read
Education Briefly Stated: September 20, 2023
Here's a look at some recent Education Week articles you may have missed.
8 min read
Education From Our Research Center What's on the Minds of Educators, in Charts
Politics, gender equity, and technology—how teachers and administrators say these issues are affecting the field.
1 min read
Stylized illustration of a pie chart
Traci Daberko for Education Week