Wednesday, November 2, 2011

three interesting articles on K-12 education and budget woes

An interesting set of three articles in Sunday's C-J, with the same underlying issues/causes: 

1.) Jenna Esarey's article on budget troubles in Clark Co., which are scheduled to lead to closing Maple Elementary...

2.) an AP article on reducing school bus services in Indiana, given budget woes...

The Franklin Township school district in suburban Indianapolis angered thousands of parents a few months ago when it contracted with a partner that’s now charging families what will amount to more than $400 per child this school year for bus service. And lean times could force other districts in similar straits to take a hard look at bus service.

Indiana’s attorney general is poised to issue an opinion on the legality of Franklin Township’s move. District Superintendent Walter Bourke said a decision against Franklin Township could force the district to eliminate transportation entirely. But he expects legislators next year to consider a law that would require school districts to transport students — a law he said could force struggling districts into bankruptcy if it passes.

Charging for transportation isn’t unique. Thousands of school districts across the country already do it...But it’s a new phenomenon in Indiana...

3.) WaPo's Lyndsey Layton with an article on four-day school weeks in 292 school districts in the U.S., to deal with tight budgets...

one signal that this is shaping up to be a “cliff year” in American education as the evaporation of federal stimulus funds and other fiscal troubles force many schools to make dramatic cuts. (Her next example involves cutting the "drama" club...nice turn of a phrase!)...

Four-day school weeks have been around since the 1930s and experienced revived interest during the oil crisis of the 1970s. But they had been used largely by a handful of rural districts in Western states, including New Mexico, where buses can burn plenty of gas traveling mountainous roads. Growing economic pressures have forced districts small and large across the country to consider the practice...

Because most states require a minimum of instructional hours, districts that drop a day lengthen the remaining four days so students don’t lose “seat time.” Research measuring the impact of a four-day school week on student achievement is scant. Educators in North Branch and elsewhere say there is no evidence that it has hurt learning...

1 Comments:

At March 21, 2013 at 2:45 AM , Blogger Nilima Shah said...

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