Wednesday, April 15, 2009

I am one of those people.

A few weeks ago I caught onto a controversial conversation begun by Knox County School Board. Deep budgets cuts were calling for radical changes. One proposed change was slated to save $700,000 dollars by running the buses longer, asking some high schools to start at 9:30 and go till 4:30. Yep, my son's was one of those hand full of schools. I really could have rolled with it EXCEPT that it added either more than an hour to my already long drive or my high schooler would have to go kill that time in cafeteria or library every single day. My other son's middle school starts at 8:00 a twenty minute drive away from the high school, and I could not justify wasting all the time and gas in between. Also, it would have effected private and public school sports, because many events start at 5:00 and bus loads of teams wouldn't be able to get to events on time, because school let out late for a few. Also, practice times would conclude at even later times. I've seen football players at Peace's academy who practice till 8:30 every school night of the season- doesn't it stand to reason that they'd head home at 9:30? I considered the amount of kids who don't take the bus who might be forced to, because parents could no longer drop off kids before work. Not to mention the cost of additional supervision of students who had to come earlier due to parent work schedules. Change is not simple or cheap.

The reason that I am one of those people is that I actually wrote all the school board members and expressed my concerns. I got three replies. Two were quick. One member really spent some time reflecting she'd listened well to my thoughts.

Yesterday, I read in the paper that the superintendent tabled the idea of late start times, because government stimulus money came to the rescue. It's quite a relief to our family, and I'm so grateful.

I have no doubt with the economic times to come, schools are in for quite a wild and bumpy ride. I heard on NPR this morning that in LA some schools have cut a third of the teachers and increased class sizes. God help us all.

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