Consider This - Education Plan

By Ted Fortenberry - bio | email

State legislators are looking at all sorts of options to cut expenses and save wherever possible due to the current budget shortfalls. Unfortunately, one area up for consideration is education. Based on our educational performance, this seems like the last place we should look for savings. However, just like most governmental entities, I'm sure there is waste, and an effective evaluation would prove beneficial, particularly honing in on administrative expenses and reducing the many levels of bureaucracy that currently exist. Unfortunately, other suggestions have included cutting the number of school days and even reducing the number of teachers. That makes no sense whatsoever.

Consider This: Instead of cutting the number of school days, many states have moved to a year-round school calendar with several two- to four-week breaks throughout the year. Now that may not work as well in a tourist area like the Grand Strand where businesses rely on that student help to operate their businesses during the summer season. But when you evaluate the learning process, students perform better when they have shorter, more frequent breaks, rather than one long break in the summer. And students of working families who are unsupervised for extended periods of time, like the lengthy summer break, are more likely to get into trouble and can be targeted by gangs as potential recruits.

So state leaders, if you HAVE to cut expenses in the education area let's look at options that don't have a direct impact on the student/teacher ratio. And instead of cutting the number of days in the school year, why not consider restructuring when those breaks take place?

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