Snow days are so passé. Now it's all about budget cut days.
Yes, faced with budget woes, the Burnsville School district is considering giving its students every other Monday off, or starting their summer before Memorial Day in an aim to save $5 million next year, the Minneapolis Star-Tribune reports. If officials go through with the plan, students would still be in school for the same number of hours.
The possibility of giving students a four-day week every other week may seem extreme, but Burnsville isn't the only school district looking for creative ways to prevent a budget crisis, according to the Associated Press. The recession has cut into education spending in towns across the country, as localities run out of the federal stimulus dollars that have staved off widespread job cuts over the past two years.
In northern Texas, a growing number of public schools are using an innovative tactic to close funding gaps without foregoing school days: Selling ad space on their buses and buildings. The commercialization of public school spaces comes in response to the Texas' legislature's decision to cut $5.4 billion in education funding and grants last year.
It's not just K-12 public schools that are coping with cuts to state funding. Many public colleges are outsourcing some non-essential services like parking lot management and dorm construction in an effort to save money amid state cuts to higher education.
But cuts to education funding aren't the only casualties of cash-strapped towns. In Baltimore, town officials are considering putting historic landmarks up for sale in an effort to close a $48 million shortfall. The town of North Las Vegas may charge its residents and visitors a fee to enter its new park. And in Highland Park, Michigan, officials ripped out more than 1,000 of its street lights to save money on its energy bills.
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