School’s Out for Summer!

22 May

Today was the last day of school. A whole TWO whopping hours of it. Yep, that’s right. TWO HOURS OF SCHOOL TODAY. They ran the buses and everything. Do you know why? Because the school gets government money for each child that attends each day. You got it. That’s why attendance is so “important”. Oh, they’ll tell you it’s because kids aren’t learning anything if they are not present, and yes, that is true. But I’ve “taught” classes during day long power outages. More than once. And to be honest, it was impossible to teach my lessons during a power outage. We just sat in the dark classroom, took attendance and waited. Oh, we talked. The students wanted to know why they had to sit there, so I told them. Yeah, rocking the boat. I guess that was why I was always being reprimanded by the administration.

But I digress, today… last day of school. I called up the office yesterday to ask what would be happening at school. After all, the books have been turned in, all work is done. What can they possibly do in two hours? Pick up their report cards! Yeah, that takes a couple of minutes. Then what. Sit there some more. I thought this process was stupid when I was in school. And it is stupid. The secretary threatened me with, “Well, he’ll be counted absent.” And that would be bad… how? Will there be any make up work that he will need to turn in? I don’t think so.

Want to know something even more ridiculous… Do you think the amount of money that they actually get based on the number of students who actually show up comes anywhere near the amount of money they have to spend on running the buses that day? Just the buses. We’re not counting electricity, water, and such. Do you know how expensive the bus system is?

Let me break it down. When I was scheduling a field trip for my students (2 day trip) it was going to cost me almost $2,000 per day for the bus. Then I had to cover the wages of the bus driver. (This did not count the cost of food and lodging since it was a weekend trip). That’s just for ONE bus. One school district now has hundreds of buses. And if schools are not getting enough money from government programs (like they always tell us, there’s never enough money) is one day of attendance really going to make a difference? I don’t think so. Especially on a day that historically has such a poor turnout.

Let my people go! All this teaches our kids is that bureaucratic ineptness must be tolerated. And I don’t believe that. Do YOU?

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