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Our Readers Write

June 15, 2011

Fewer days, more training?

With two children who have graduated from LCUSD schools and one remaining, I am deeply frustrated by the district and board’s decision to cut four days from the 2011/2012 school year. ( “District to drop four days of school,” June 2.)

Parents are making record contributions and the community has passed a parcel tax, yet the school district is eliminating four days of school for an unclear and ill-defined teacher training program.

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What’s more troubling is the lack of information to parents about the proposed cuts, making an important agreement with the teacher’s union without community discussion. It’s unclear when and if the school district planned to tell parents and students that there would be four less days of school. It gives the impression that they hoped we wouldn't notice until it was too late.

Parents deserve answers. Why is the district cutting four days of school when we already have so many days off during the school year, including a full week at Thanksgiving? When we already have pupil-free days for teachers? What is this new teacher training about, without a written plan for accountability and no budget?

The district claims it is narrowing its gap on San Marino schools. Is San Marino taking four days off for teacher training next year? Are any other school districts in the state cutting four days of school for teacher training?

I fear that cutting school days needlessly will encourage more parents to send their children to private schools rather than to LCUSD. Parents may reduce or stop their donations and the community may not be able to pass a proposed future parcel tax. I am concerned the district and board cut school days with so little parent and community input. We need some answers soon. I cannot see how this will benefit our children.

Rich Asher

La Cañada Flintridge

Guns and a political statement

This is in response to Terry Beyer's June 9 letter to the editor supporting Anthony Portantino's legislation to ban openly carrying empty firearms.

Any empty gun is worthless for self defense, so anyone who chooses to do so is really just making a political statement. I'm clearly less flappable than Terry Beyer, because a gun on some yahoo's hip has no more power to intimidate me than so many of the inane political bumper stickers I see. Neither deserves more than a roll of my eyes.

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