Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Schools Cut Back to Four Days - Why Public Education Is Doomed

Even back in 1984, when I was beginning my senior, no one wanted to pay for public schools. A levy election failed to pass a small tax increase to keep our schools open. In the spring of our senior year, a second election was held that barely passed - and we were able to graduate.

More and more schools around the country are unable to fund a full week of education. No one wants to pay to keep the schools open, to give teachers a fair wage, and to buy new books, have sports (other than football), or fund music education.

With only 34% of the population believing in basic science like evolution, the last thing we need is LESS education. When I taught briefly, I saw far too many high school graduates who were unable to write a coherent sentence. We need more and better education.

Alternet reports on situation.

Schools Nationwide Cutting Down to 4 Days a Week, Because Wealthy Refuse to Pay Fair Share

The GOP's anti-tax attitude and budget cuts mean some states are closing schools on Fridays, leaving parents, workers and students in the lurch.

August 22, 2011 |  By Sarah Seltzer

I doubt there's any student in the world who would object to having Fridays off. But when it comes to policy, the increasing number of American schools moving to a four-day week is not necessarily news to jump for joy about. In fact, it's potentially devastating for parents, school workers and students all left in the lurch by budget cuts. And it's happening more and more, as state and local budgets shrink to tiny levels and raising taxes on the wealthy is somehow considered verboten.

This anti-school thinking is evidenced by the fact that a leading right-wing businessman wrote an op-ed yesterday in which he questioned his taxes going toward the existence of a Department of Education. "Do we really need an energy department or an education department at all?" the American Enterprise Institute's Harvey Golub wrote in the Wall Street Journal, while arguing, contra Warren Buffet, that taxes for the ultra-rich not be raised.

We need more revenue for education, Harvey. Just ask the growing group of parents who are stuck with their young school-age children on Mondays or Fridays because the schools can't even afford to open that day.

The Associated Press reports that the Irene-Wakonda School District in South Dakota is the latest to move to the four-day week, bringing the state close to having one-fourth of its districts on the reduced schedule.
Read the whole article.

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