Wednesday, January 28, 2009

So, When Will I See My Kids?


So, when will I see my kids? That's the question that immediately popped into my brain as I read Ohio Governor Ted Strickland's 6 point education plan which was unveiled as part of his State of the State Address today in Columbus. Besides the fact that the plan was short on specifics on how he would fix the school funding problem in Ohio, Strickland proposed that Ohio begin: "Phasing in 20 additional days to the school calendar each year over a 10-year period, bringing the state's school year up to the international average of 200 days and lengthening the school day with additional activities, such as community service, tutoring and health and wellness programs."

So let me see now, besides the fact that most schools are having a really tough time passing their levies and keep their school budgets in the black, schools should now stay open an additional month and for longer hours each day. Well, I'm no accountant but that sounds like an extra financial burden on schools that can barely keep up now. Will Ohio really have the cash to back this all up or will this be an unfunded mandate?

The extra month in school and extra hours in the school day would also be a burden on many families. You see, call us strange, but my wife and I cherish the time we have with our young children. I really don't want the state mandating that they be stuck an additional month in school and for more hours in the day. Most parents keep their children busy with after school extra-curricular activities as is. Kids also need their summer break to re-energize and to...be a kid. Families often use the time in the summer to go on vacation and do things as a family. An extra month in school? Kids will be in school until after the Fourth of July? Heck, why stop there? Why not keep kids in school all year round? Having a one month summer break is about the same thing.

A state-funded, voluntary summer school, especially for those kids that are struggling, would be great. State-funded, voluntary extra-curricular activities for kids, especially for those latch-key kids that need a place to go until a parent gets home from work, would be great. But mandating any of this is a mistake in my opinion.

2 comments:

Martin said...

For the headlines to say "Gov. comes up with a plan to fund schools" is an absolute joke. It isn't a plan until he tells us how he will pay for it. I've been so disappointed by the gov since 2006 and this only reaffirms that he is just not cut out to lead this state.

I've always said that you can throw all the money you want at the schools and it won't matter if parents don't take a role in their child's education. The most important step for parents to take now is not re-electing Gov. Stricland.

DC said...

Martin--I disagree that he's not up the job & I do give the Governor credit for coming up with something. However, until the Governor shows how he's going to pay for it I will remain skeptical--especially after he pledged "no new taxes." His proposal seems to call for large sums more cash but no explanation on where the extra cash is going to come from...

I do agree with you that one of the key ingredients in a child's education is a strong role played by parents. Unfortunately, for many kids in this state & around the country, many parents are AWOL...

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