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Win the Future! Teach Your Children . . . Less

School districts all over the country are reducing school days, firing teachers, eliminating summer school, closing libraries, and eliminating “non-essential” programs. It’s not because the country is “broke” but because this wealthy country has chosen to do this. I don’t think this is how you even get to the future, let alone “win” it. From the New York Times:

After several years of state and local budget cuts, thousands of school districts across the nation are gutting summer-school programs, cramming classes into four-day weeks or lopping days off the school year, even though virtually everyone involved in education agrees that American students need more instruction time.

Los Angeles slashed its budget for summer classes to $3 million from $18 million last year, while Philadelphia, Milwaukee and half the school districts in North Carolina have deeply cut their programs or zeroed them out. A scattering of rural districts in New Mexico, Idaho and other states will be closed on Fridays or Mondays come September. And in California, where some 600 of the 1,100 local districts have shortened the calendar by up to five days over the past two years, lawmakers last week authorized them to cut seven days more if budgets get tighter.

“Instead of increasing school time, in a lot of cases we’ve been pushing back against efforts to shorten not just the school day but the week and year,” said Justin Hamilton, a spokesman for the federal Department of Education. “We’re trying to prevent what exists now from shrinking even further.”

But not to worry. I’m certain that when Congressional leaders meet with President Obama tomorrow to continue to ignore what the country needs and the polls are demanding, at the top of their agenda will be a discussion of how the federal government can provide additional funding to states and local communities to make sure we can continue to educate our children.

File under: our political leaders are idiots

CommunityMy FDL

Win the Future! Teach Your Children . . . Less

School districts all over the country are reducing school days, firing teachers, eliminating summer school, closing libraries and eliminating “non-essential” programs. It’s not because the country is “broke” but because this wealthy country has chosen to do this. I don’t think this is how you even get to the future, let alone “win” it. From the New York Times:

After several years of state and local budget cuts, thousands of school districts across the nation are gutting summer-school programs, cramming classes into four-day weeks or lopping days off the school year, even though virtually everyone involved in education agrees that American students need more instruction time.

Los Angeles slashed its budget for summer classes to $3 million from $18 million last year, while Philadelphia, Milwaukee and half the school districts in North Carolina have deeply cut their programs or zeroed them out. A scattering of rural districts in New Mexico, Idaho and other states will be closed on Fridays or Mondays come September. And in California, where some 600 of the 1,100 local districts have shortened the calendar by up to five days over the past two years, lawmakers last week authorized them to cut seven days more if budgets get tighter.

“Instead of increasing school time, in a lot of cases we’ve been pushing back against efforts to shorten not just the school day but the week and year,” said Justin Hamilton, a spokesman for the federal Department of Education. “We’re trying to prevent what exists now from shrinking even further.”

But not to worry. I’m certain that when Congressional leaders meet with President Obama tomorrow to continue to ignore what the country needs and the polls are demanding, at the top of their agenda will be a discussion of how the federal government can provide additional funding to states and local communities to make sure we can continue to educate our children.

File under: our political leaders are idiots

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FfH186Y7ilQ

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John has been writing for Firedoglake since 2006 or so, on whatever interests him. He has a law degree, worked as legal counsel and energy policy adviser for a state energy agency for 20 years and then as a consultant on electricity systems and markets. He's now retired, living in Massachusetts.

You can follow John on twitter: @JohnChandley