In the midst of the country’s economic hardship, educational programs are on the chopping block, and teachers are receiving pink slips instead of paychecks.
Administrators decide which classes and programs should be included in curriculums, while students are suffering in bigger classrooms with less attention from teachers.
In light of these obstacles, Mike Kelley, chairman of the Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools Board of Education, is on a mission to persuade public schools to become year-round for the 2011-12 school year.
Year-round schooling is an excellent alternative for Orange County Schools.
Kelley has seen little improvement in the school system and believes this modification would greatly improve student testing scores and be a positive change for the community.
Year-round schooling might seem like a foreign concept, but it has gained momentum throughout the country in the past decade with more states adopting the program.
In 2007, more than two million students in elementary and secondary schools in the U.S. attended year-round schools.
The downside for Chapel Hill-Carrboro schools would be a return to zero-based budgeting, which doesn’t guarantee the same level of funding from year to year.
Although parents might be alarmed that the program could cut vacation time for students, there are a variety of year-round models.
The program is part of a list of priorities that will be discussed at the June 24 school board meeting. The list contains nine separate priorities that will be directed towards Superintendent Neil Pederson to review in the coming year.
While the pros and cons surrounding year-round schooling are intense and murky, what remains clear is that education should always be a top priority.
Teachers, parents and students alike should take the time to become well informed and attend the board meeting. It will be open to public input.
Education has somehow taken a backseat to more short-term economic issues, but it remains the most important investment in our nation’s future.
(An editorial written for the Daily Tar Heel (one I don’t agree with) http://www.dailytarheel.com/content/educational-priority-orange-county-schools-should-go-year-round )