Education reform a must for nation

With school’s budgets contracting, districts are switching to four-day school weeks.

ItâÄôs ironic. Just more than a week after President Obama called for an overhaul of the American education system to make it âÄúonce more be the envy of the world,âÄù Pueblo County School District 70 initiated discussions about switching to a four-day school week next year to save money. The idea follows a recession-prompted requirement to cut $4.5 million from the budget, a growing trend across the national education system. The school district claims it will save about $1.2 million from savings in staffing, utilities and bus services, and Pueblo is not alone. According to an Associated Press article, there are about 60 Colorado districts that are on a four-day school week this year, and others in Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Maine, Missouri and Washington have followed. The New York Times reported that the federal formulas used to determine the amount of money schools are slated to receive from the educational stimulus package do not take into account who needs the money most. For example, a few Utah districts stand to get about $400 less per student than those in Wyoming. In this case, the four-day school week doesnâÄôt look so bad as a means to save money and maintain current educational standards. We see both these situations as avoidable. There is no reason why schools should be forced to sacrifice valuable time in order to save money, and stimulus distribution disparities are just unacceptable. If we are to achieve ObamaâÄôs vision and âÄúcultivate a new culture of accountability in AmericaâÄôs schools,âÄù heightened standards, improved curricula, higher-paid teachers and increased funding need to be a top priority. Rejecting the ideals of the famous Pink Floyd song, we do need an education. This editorial, accessed via UWire, was originally published in the Rocky Mountain Collegian Colorado State University. Please send comments to [email protected]