LA QUINTA – Starting next week, Desert Sands Unified School District will be closed every Friday during the summer. This is planned to save money on electricity costs
“All the air is off. Water is dialed down. Everything is dialed down,” says Cindy McDaniel, DSUSD assistant superintendent.
In two years, DSUSD lost nearly $30 million, forcing hundreds of layoffs. As money keeps getting tighter, the district is tightening its work schedule. Employees will work 10 hours a day, Monday through Thursday.
The district hopes to shed some light on the budget deficit by shutting everything down on Fridays, leaving behind an empty building.
“Most of the savings comes from air conditioning since we are in the hottest months,” says McDaniel.
All of the district’s buildings will go on the short schedule for summer, including summer school. This plan ends when summer vacation ends.
“Our schools need to be openfive days a week and we need to be there with our staff,” says McDaniel.
In the meantime, the switch saves the district money and gives employees more free time.
“They will get three day weekends. They will still put in 40 hours a week, but now they will have Friday, Saturday, and Sunday off,” says McDaniel. “It’s a value to them and to us. It’s a win-win.”
More importantly, it could save jobs. The temporary change will save about $80,000.