Seattle public schools will close for an entire day Aug. 31 and close early for a half day on another day during the school year.
The move aims to show the effects of a $1 billion budget cut from the state's education funding, and is also a response to salary cuts for educators and staff.
"The state has somewhat arbitrarily cut this," Duggan Harman, the district's executive director of finance, referring to the salary reductions, told The Seattle Times. "Seattle doesn't have the choice except to shut down."
From The Seattle Times:
If approved by the union's representative assembly, teachers will take 1 ½ days of furlough in each of the next two school years, plus give up 5 ½ hours of training. The district will make up the rest, roughly one-third of the total loss.
KPLU reports that the furloughs would make the district "a ghost town," effectively illustrating the effects of the budget cuts.
Just this month, the Seattle school board downsized its contingent of elementary school counselors in an effort to close the district's $45 million budget deficit.