Schools deserve funding, prep time for legislature’s mandates

Published 6:07 pm Tuesday, March 20, 2012

This editorial isn’t likely to snag the attention of too many state representatives by the time the summer session convenes May 16. Regardless, we felt the need to state our piece about the tug and pull situation the legislature has put every school system in by mandating additional days and providing no funding to make those days happen.
Five additional days added to a school calendar might not seem like a lot until you begin to really consider the financials of it all. This means five additional days of teacher and staff salaries, toilets flushing, sinks running and lights being turned on and off in classrooms. It means five extra days of buses running and lunches to plan for and prepare.
For families it means five additional days to get kids out of bed and off for another school day. This latter part could actually be of benefit – kids get more time in the classroom to learn and parents have five fewer days to seek a babysitter or childcare. How it doesn’t benefit families is in the fact that it could also mean starting the school year an entire week earlier. For parents trying to plan family vacations or just life in general, not knowing that start date until May or, even more likely, June becomes quite problematic.
In the end, our say is that if the legislature isn’t going to fund something, it shouldn’t mandate it. Also, if the legislature plans to mandate that the school year start early it should give schools systems and parents more warning than it appears it might do.
— Editorial staff, Tryon Daily Bulletin