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BY AMY FLOWERS UMBLE
Stafford County's School Board approved dozens of summer school programs Tuesday night.
But about 2,000 Stafford students might not have the opportunity to make up classes or exams this summer.
In an effort to trim the school budget, the School Board earlier decided to eliminate summer school programs for students in kindergarten through eighth grade.
"These programs are for elementary and middle school kids who didn't perform well on the state test or who failed a course," said Chris Quinn, assistant superintendent for instruction.
The summer courses usually last three or four weeks and help students who would otherwise be held back.
A similar remediation program for high school students is funded through the state, Quinn said.
And students pay tuition for most summer enrichment programs, so the school division doesn't pay for those programs, he said.
Additionally, programs for some special-education programs are required by law.
So the only programs that would save Stafford schools money and could legally be cut were the remediation programs for students in kindergarten through eighth grades.
About 2,000 students sign up for those programs each summer, Quinn said.
About a month ago, principals were told that the programs would most likely be cut. So they are emphasizing after-school remediation, Quinn said.
"Our principals are being proactive about this," he said. "And this may provide the incentive for students to take the after-school remediation and not depend on summer school as a fallback."
He said that time will tell if the cuts will leave more students repeating grades.
The School Board is waiting for the Stafford County Board of Supervisors to approve a final budget in early May. Then, it will vote to finalize the school budget.
At that time, the summer school cuts would be in effect, unless School Board members change their minds about eliminating the program.
Amy Flowers Umble: 540/735-1973