Texas Ed: Comments on Education from Texas

August 4, 2007

Schools–education and so much more

Filed under: education priorities, Texas Education Agency — texased @ 9:01 pm

Another example of education not being the only concern of public schools:

Mexia Daily News – District pulls 4-day school week proposal

The Lancaster school board voted 5-1 last month to allow Lewis to seek a waiver exempting the district from the required 180-day school calendar. Under the proposal, the 6,000-student district south of Dallas would have longer days Monday through Thursday and Fridays off.

Supporters say the short week would boost academics by allowing longer uninterrupted stretches of class time and save money as the district deals with a funding deficit.

Critics have protested the idea over concerns about the cost of child care on Fridays and unsupervised students getting into trouble.

It’s an interesting cost benefit issue. The schools could save money and (theoretically) improve academics by switching to a shorter week. That would seem to meet the generally stated goals of public education.

But the argument against is that it will cost parents in day care and the possibly the community in general with increased youth crime. So shouldn’t the voters of the Lancaster district be willing to spend (you know, tax themselves) to address this social issue? It looks like it’s going to cost them either way, so why not send the money to education?

Too bad they don’t have some critical tourist industry that needs to operate on Fridays using student labor–the Lancaster board probably wouldn’t have ever been sent the 15 questions from TEA to begin with.

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