A San Francisco Giants fan wears face paint and has dyed hair as he waits for the start of the Giants' victory parade on November 3, 2010 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
The price of having a World-Series-winning baseball team? That'll be $120,000, paid for by schools.
The absentee rate at San Francisco schools skyrocketed on Wednesday for the Giants parade. It's understandable that parents would want their kids to see the one-of-a-kind event. It's a unique opportunity to participate in a massive civic community, after all. Although schools resisted requests to pull students from class, as much as half of the student body was missing from some schools.
But then there's the cost.
San Francisco's school district gets about $37 per student every day from the state. If a kid is absent, that's $37 that the school loses out on. Next year, when the state is calculating how much money to give San Francisco, Wednesday's dip in attendance will definitely have an impact.
The issue comes amidst ongoing cuts to education funding. San Francisco's $37 is ten percent below what it got the previous year.
Schools weren't the only ones hit hard by the Giants parade. Local transit agencies nearly buckled under the pressure of hundreds of thousands of attendees. BART's ridership topped half a million, forcing them to close some stations to deal with the crowd. Sausalito ferries carried over 2,200 riders, up from an average of 1,700. Muni ridership approached nearly a million.