Mississippi lawmakers currently are debating two proposals that may give relief to our state schools which are facing tough economic times. One would allow the school districts to shorten the school year by five days. The second proposal would let districts furlough teachers for five days a year. The thought is to give school districts the flexibility to handle the budget crisis in their own schools.
We don't think reducing the number of days our children attend school is wise. Study after study places Mississippi's school children, as a whole, far from the top of the educational ladder. Our concern is that shortening the school year would result in them falling further behind.
Many industries in the past year have had to furlough employees, so we can see where this could save money. However, if furloughs do take place, then it should not only be teachers but also, administrators and other support staff as well.
Finally we believe there is not one fix for every school district. Some are in far worse economic shape than others. Hopefully lawmakers, school administrators and teachers are working together to stretch school budgets with the least disruption in educating our children.
That's our opinion, we would like to hear yours. Email your thoughts to firstname.lastname@example.org, or post your comments below.
WLOX-TV General Manager
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