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Public school and transportation costs

by grimgraphix / June 30, 2008 5:51 AM PDT

I just saw this article... Why the Bus May Not Make A Stop for Your Kid This School Year - High Oil Prices Force Cost-Cutting Nationwide. It made me wonder if there has been any discussion in people's communities about next fall's school year and the ever increasing costs of heating school buildings and moving kids to and from the school.

It strikes me that one thing US culture might want to rethink is the traditional summer break for kids. We did it for years, because as an agrarian society, we needed our kids to help out during the growing season. Since the majority (over 50%) of US population now live in urban or sub-urban settings, do we need our kids to have summers off? Would it not be more economical in today's world, to take two and a half to three months of school recess during the winter months ? Heating bills and gasoline costs could be reduced.

In order to cut schooling costs, do we need to reorganize the school year?

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Established traditions
by Steven Haninger / June 30, 2008 7:41 AM PDT

such as summer vacations and such will be enemies of such a plan. In warmer climates you'll need AC and you'll still need to heat the schools somewhat to prevent damage to the interiors. Already schools seem to be running a little later into June and starting in August instead of September (as I remember as a kid. You mentioned there are fewer farmers but there still are quite a few farming communities out there who's school might need to be on a different schedule than those in the city. It wasn't that long ago we were reading about recommendations to have school all year round. I don't hear much about these days. Traditions aren't easily changed by force.

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One of the big fallacies of education 'reformers'.
by Kiddpeat / June 30, 2008 8:49 AM PDT

It's the idea that kid's don't learn anything unless they are in school, and, coming close behind, that the summer 'break' is based on an agrarian society. It's outmoded and wastes huge educational opportunities.

It should be obvious that many kids, perhaps even most, learn at least as much while on 'vacation' as they do in school. That encompasses family trips to distant locations, summer camps for everything from sports to computers to drama to music to physics and beyond. Add to that the fact that they are meeting new people and seeing new places and things. It should be painfully obvious that they frequently learn more in the summer than they do in school. Good luck trying to implement the same experiences when you lack common time frames across the country, and the weather needed to support the activities.

Agrarian? You've got to be kidding. The US has not been much of an agrarian society for at least 100 years. Guess what happens during the summer in urban environments? Summer break? You got it! How come? There is no agriculture in the urban environment. How about all those learning activities mentioned above plus the fact that the weather is not conducive to education. It's HOT! I guess you can crank up the AC, but that kind of defeats the energy 'savings' doesn't it?

There is also the old phrase; "All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy." Kids NEED the break even more than adults do!

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all interesting points...
by grimgraphix / June 30, 2008 9:27 AM PDT

... I'm glad my enquiries have opened up a friendly discussion.

Wink

I have yet to see any discourse in the local news media about rising energy costs and the coming school year for my area. I'm sure it will come though, since about half the kids in my state probably have 5 to 15 mile bus rides to and from school.

Will the Cook county, Chicago school area need to raise more money to meet transportation costs, or do most of the kids use public transportation to get to school ?

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RE: Here's a thought.
by caktus / June 30, 2008 9:50 AM PDT

Here's a thought. Keep the little rascals in school. Or put them to work over the summer. A pay check, or even community service may help teach them a sense of responsibility, accomplishment and satisfaction and pride in their community and them selves. And it may(?) even help keep them out of trouble. Either way, they'll be learning year round.

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some colleges offer "mods" or ...
by grimgraphix / June 30, 2008 11:20 AM PDT
In reply to: RE: Here's a thought.

... module systems composed of shorter 2 month long classes rather than the traditional 3 1/2 to 4 month semester systems. This is designed to allow the student to take a break whenever they feel like doing so. However, I doubt that younger students would be mature enough to maintain a "self paced" regimen that the mod system encourages.

Still... It would probably cheese off most public school teachers, if they didn't get their summer break. Happy

I would just like to point out that the point of my original post was not about "reforming" the US educational system. It was about the costs involved in moving and sheltering the kids, and whether everyone's local school system can continue to offer the present services such as "free" transportation to and from school.

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Actually..
by caktus / June 30, 2008 12:10 PM PDT

But as you know, it really isn't free. And while any job performed by government is done with grate waste, still it is much less costly than parents having to deliver and pick up the students.

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Discussed around here
by Willy / June 30, 2008 1:55 PM PDT

The rising costs of energy have been a hot topic for some time and in some cases, the budget barely made it to the last school day and/or last week. I'm sure there'll be more levies to get the monies for fuel, salaries, etc. besides all the other needs. Voters may show sympathy but they're feeling the costs too, so its a toss-up. Already, homes with kids pay for extra costs for sports, travel outing, etc., and maybe more inclined to rethink whatever the school system offers and it may not be good.

As for closing for summer break, there is alot of country left where kids are needed at home. Plus, the special time being home makes for a family, it has worked so long, there maybe resentment to change. -----Willy Happy

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Public school and transportation costs
by taboma / June 30, 2008 3:56 PM PDT

Grim, if the kids were home during the winter months the home heating costs would rise for most households here in New England and elsewhere.
New England is a lot colder than W. VA. I would not be able to set my home daytime temperature at 60 degrees during the winter school day hours any longer. I would have to have the temp at 68 degrees minimum.

If the price for home heating oil rises to $5 per gallon, the price to fill up a 275 gallon oil tank will cost $1,375.
And that only lasts 275 HOURS. Think about it.

-Kevin

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