In listening to Talk Radio every morning, I understand the public schools are hurting for money. I'm not sure how this happens since everybody and his brother pays taxes and I have heard that 65% of the property taxes in Miss. go to the schools. So here goes my money saving techniques...its a back to basics approach...in more ways than one.
The school year should start the day after Labor Day and end the Friday before Memorial Day. Thats how it was when I went to school. Cut out all the early release days, school holidays, teacher in service days, etc. Have School. The kids could have off Thanksgiving & Friday after, a week or a little more at Christmas, and some days surrounding Easter. They don't need to take off for anyone's birthday (even if it is a National Holiday). The schools would save alot of money on the air conditioning costs especially here in Miss.
Teach the basics and do them well. Mississippi is at the lowest in ranking of all the states. Where can we go but up? We can't get lower than 50th. Everyday, teach reading, writing, spelling, math, science & history. If you assign homework, make sure it deals with the lesson being studied or extra math problems to conquer a concept that needs extra work. Not just busy work, they have got the kids for 8 hours every day...use them. I don't know where the A day and B day scheduling came from but its dumb. That means that at the most the above listed subjects would only be taught 3 days a week and the next week, only 2 days. No wonder kids are failing. If they learn the basics, you won't need to worry about "teaching the test" so that your school gets federal funding. In high school, you can add in electives...band, chorus, drama, home ec, accounting, typing, computer, etc. Also, every Senior should be required to take a college study skills class before they graduate.
School attendance should start in Kindergarten and end with 12th grade. Thats 13 years. We don't need Pre-K anything. Let the kids stay home with their Mommy's or go to Moms Morning Out or Daycare. They can teach the beginnings of lessons. Also, schools shouldn't be in the business of after school care. The counties are spending money (they don't have) duplicating services already offered in the communities.
Lunches don't have to be gourmet food lines with multiple choices. An entree, vegie, fruit, dessert, roll & milk. You can't please everybody, so quit trying. They can either buy a school lunch or bring their own lunch, thats the choice. Get rid of the vending machines. They are filled with processed High Fructose Corn Syrup or MSG laden junk. The kids get enough of that already.
Field trips make great learning experiences. Don't just pick some spot in another state to take all the 5th graders too or whoever. There are lots of places to visit in this area, that can relate to any lessons being studied. The "we've always done it that way" doesn't mean you have to always do it that way. 3 of my kids were in the gifted program for the county, they took expensive trips every year but didn't learn anything.......they went to VA, but went to the Jamestown village NOT Jamestown ~ 2 completely different places, & Busch Gardens (fun but you didn't learn anything) also visited St. Louis, went to the Arch, rode up it, but never went in the Westward Expansion Museum. This just doesn't make sense to me...they can go on vacation with their parents, its not the schools job to entertain them. The schools planned these trips and the parents were expected to pay for them, but they didn't learn anything. School is for learning.
Speaking of learning. Teach the basics as mentioned above. Drop the politically correct, mumbo-jumbo, indoctrination of our children. Its none of your business what they believe, why they believe it, or to convince them that "alternative lifestyles" are acceptable and desirable. Stay out of their private lives. That includes S*x education and providing materials. Get rid of the garbage in the libraries and have good, clean cut books available for the children to read.
What happens to all the money that the schools get from fund raisers every year? Put that money toward play ground equipment, band uniforms, or something that directly benefits the children. And for heavens sake, get the kids out of the middle of the roads begging for money for whatever club. Its unsafe and annoying. Have a carwash, sell candy bars, or something.
Each student at school should have 1 set of school books for their classes. They can carry the books back & forth if needed for homework. Buying 2 sets of books, so they have one at home and one at school is a huge waste of money.
The folks that don't want to cut the school year or the extras are the administrators. They make too much money and don't teach anything. Cut their salaries to a decent, livable wage and raise the teachers salaries. They are the ones that put up with the kids, the parents, the goofy restrictions, and their own personal safety. They deserve the money. And by the way, did ya ever wonder why so many public school teachers own children are homeschooled or in a private school? They know that learning is not top priority in the schools.
There are probably other areas I could pick on, but thats enough for now. I am climbing down off my soap-box!