A few readers wanted to know whether giving San Diego Unified teachers furloughs — unpaid days off — means that the school year would actually be shorter. The answer is yes.

The school district is proposing six furlough days annually for each of the next two years, while the teachers union has offered up four days annually.

Shortening the school year runs counter to the current trend in education reform, where the push is for more instructional time, not less. President Obama, for instance, has touted the idea of a longer school year.

But the budget crunch has pushed schools across the state and country in the opposite direction. Petaluma schools may snip five days off the school year; Hawaii schools are going even shorter.

— EMILY ALPERT

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