Four day school week considered by Richmond County school board member

Thursday, Jan. 21, 2010 12:34 PM
Last updated 3:00 PM
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Richmond County school board Vice President Alex Howard told members of a school transportation council today that a four-day school week should be considered.

"We've got to think outside of the box with furlough days," he said in the meeting after asking how much could be saved in transportation costs going to such a schedule.

Howard was told that school officials a few months ago conducted a study and determined one day's savings in transportation costs would be about $4,300.

Howard said he'll be looking at what other departments might save as well in being closed an extra day in the week. In such a schedule, students and workers would extend their four days on to make up for a fifth day off.

Howard said the idea would be to offset some of a state funding reduction that recently came with three more furlough days recommended by the governor's office. Those three days represent about $1.5 million and could be avoided if the school system could find the money elsewhere.

Howard said after today's meeting that he'd like to present the four-day school week idea at the board's next full meeting, adding "We need to get on it quick."

He said that if approved, the four-day week could serve as a test model for the rest of this school year and if proven successful could be used to save on costs next year, when even more state cuts are expected.

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onlynaugusta
42
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onlynaugusta 01/21/10 - 01:41 pm
0
0
It's really sad when you have

It's really sad when you have to sacrifice a child's education to save money. Richmond County needs to be taken off the list of counties and classified as a place of ignorance!

AnotherPerspective
0
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AnotherPerspective 01/21/10 - 01:53 pm
0
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How is that sacrificing a

How is that sacrificing a child's education? A child would still get the same number of hours of learning. Plenty of businesses let their employees work four day weeks. Why not do the same with students? It may work. It may not. But, with the economy as it is, it should at least be considered.

SoonerorLater
0
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SoonerorLater 01/21/10 - 01:53 pm
0
0
Georgia typcially ranks near

Georgia typcially ranks near the bottom of the eduction rung compared to the rest of the country and they want to cut classroom time by 20%. This decision would put Richmond County school children at a disadvantage against others and has long term consequences that Mr. Howard has not considered.

jg41160
6
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jg41160 01/21/10 - 02:02 pm
0
0
Only and Sooner - Did you

Only and Sooner - Did you read the story? "In such a schedule, students and workers would extend their four days on to make up for a fifth day off." In others words, same amount of time in the classroom.

TakeAstand
13
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TakeAstand 01/21/10 - 02:03 pm
0
0
Same amount of time... less

Same amount of time... less quality all around.

check
36
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check 01/21/10 - 02:07 pm
0
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Mr. Howard needs to consider

Mr. Howard needs to consider parents who do NOT work four days a week. Many cannot afford child care costs an extra four days a month.

msgret92
121
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msgret92 01/21/10 - 02:11 pm
0
0
More kids on the streets

More kids on the streets getting into trouble. More kids at YDC costing more then education budget gets cut more or it costs the taxpayers more.

puddingtane
0
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puddingtane 01/21/10 - 02:14 pm
0
0
check and msgret92, You are

check and msgret92, You are correct.

Little Lamb
57587
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Little Lamb 01/21/10 - 02:16 pm
0
0
So "check" thinks that

So "check" thinks that schools are there more for the "child care" than for the education. The idea of a four-day school week is a good one. Transportation costs would fall immediately. Other savings would also accrue, as the buildings would not have to be cooled or heated as much, and the lights could be left off over the three-day weekends.

AugustaVoter
1
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AugustaVoter 01/21/10 - 02:17 pm
0
0
msgret92, correction to your

msgret92, correction to your statement. Their will be more kids on the streets. Not YDC. They don't take offenders there anymore. At least that is what they tell officers. "Turn the offender over to his/ her parent".

soldout
1287
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soldout 01/21/10 - 02:37 pm
0
0
Wonderful idea; education is

Wonderful idea; education is not a government responsiblility but the responsibility of the parent. If government will fight the wars and keep us safe the people can handle everything else including health and welfare. In a free society every need is always met; sometimes by the profit motive and sometimes by compassion. The government doesn't operate in either of those.

scoobynews
3896
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scoobynews 01/21/10 - 02:37 pm
0
0
Check - So does that mean you

Check - So does that mean you consider school a day care? When people choose to have children you take on the responsibility of making sure they are taken care of when you work. Schools are NOT day cares and were never intended to be. Msgret92 - what about the ones already skipping school? Being in school doesn't prevent a bad kid from doing bad things. In fact they just do some of it there - drugs, being high at school, exchanging pills, etc.

TakeAstand
13
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TakeAstand 01/21/10 - 02:37 pm
0
0
No one said they think of it

No one said they think of it as childcare, but for working parents it is a compromise of the two. You give all things free without complaining to non working lazy baby factories but when a working person just mentions the fact of how it messes up the balance between work and kids you assume they do not care about education and looking for free day care. That's warped. Not to mention the fact that the unsupervised baby factory kids would have an extra day to get into trouble like the other posters said!

joebowles
104
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joebowles 01/21/10 - 02:38 pm
0
0
This is my concern about what

This is my concern about what has become of Public Education. It has been expressed, parents work 5 days a week and more kids on the street.
Maybe these things should be considered before having children, as this is what my wife and I did. When we had children she worked the night shift and I during the day so that we could take care of our own.

puddingtane
0
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puddingtane 01/21/10 - 02:39 pm
0
0
Little Lamb, yes but this

Little Lamb, yes but this will hurt low income people who already struggle to work (the ones who will) and pay for child care. Now they will not make enough to justify working and paying taxes (that pay for the schools). That will equal more welfare which will take from the schools funds, and the vicious circle will continue to turn until the country fails.Take a stand is correct.

ya-ya
83
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ya-ya 01/21/10 - 02:42 pm
0
0
As a parent who doesn't work

As a parent who doesn't work a four-day work week, I happen to think it is a good idea. Transportation costs would drop and teachers would still have jobs and not be required to use furlough days. If implemented, I would request a four-day work week so that my "delinquent" middle schooler wouldn't be left home alone to roam the neighborhood getting into trouble. @AugustaVoter, that is so true that their bad behinds get turned over to their parents instead of going to a detention center but then again, when in such a center they just learn how to be a bigger menace than they were before they went in. So what is the answer?

puddingtane
0
Points
puddingtane 01/21/10 - 02:45 pm
0
0
ya-ya The answer is cut out

ya-ya The answer is cut out the pork spending and use the money where it is needed.

ya-ya
83
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ya-ya 01/21/10 - 02:56 pm
0
0
Got it, but if low-income

Got it, but if low-income people can't pay for school taxes the county will just increase taxes on the rest of us but don't they do that every year anyway? You're right, this whole mess seems to be a vicious cycle and no one knows how to make it right. As I stated before, I like the four-day week and just maybe, the teachers will not feel the need to rush through class and could actually spend some time TEACHING! Now that would be a plus!

puddingtane
0
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puddingtane 01/21/10 - 03:04 pm
0
0
I could fix it all, but I

I could fix it all, but I would have to do things that are un-American. I would be called racist, arrogant, communist and everything else in the book. Then I would be assassinated by big business and the rest of the government.

puddingtane
0
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puddingtane 01/21/10 - 03:37 pm
0
0
were already making prison

were already making prison cuts.....

puddingtane
0
Points
puddingtane 01/21/10 - 03:43 pm
0
0
I would need to start with

I would need to start with the parking meter money

Fiat_Lux
20603
Points
Fiat_Lux 01/21/10 - 06:30 pm
0
0
I know darn well that I

I know darn well that I commented cogently and appropriately on this story earlier today, as well on at least one other. What the heck is going on with the comments today? Is this the "assertive moderation" Mr. English is hinting at?

Georgiais1
0
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Georgiais1 01/21/10 - 06:42 pm
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Change you can believe in!

Change you can believe in!

Public Safety
0
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Public Safety 01/21/10 - 07:58 pm
0
0
Has Mr Howard considered the

Has Mr Howard considered the increase in childcare cost that a family that has to work will have to pay for that fifth day? What will the board do to accomadate these families? Are we to be put into a deeper financial hole because of this to say the least bad idea. If the board wants to save money, try cutting some of those enormous salaries some of these so called educators are getting, especially since the schools have such a hard time making AYP. Great pay for a failing school system dosen't make good economic sense.

Public Safety
0
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Public Safety 01/21/10 - 08:05 pm
0
0
It is shameful for an elected

It is shameful for an elected official to blast parents for having children and having to work the shift set by their employers to provide for their families. How can he compare the situation of he and his wife to other families? With an attitude like that how can he say he is for the people that elected him?

corgimom
53597
Points
corgimom 01/21/10 - 08:44 pm
0
0
This is a terrible idea.

This is a terrible idea. Elementary school kids can't handle an extra two hours per day, they're tired already in the afternoons. Who would ever think it's a good idea to force children to work the same hours as an adult? Adults are tired at the end of the day, it's worse for children.

Riverman1
124357
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Riverman1 01/21/10 - 08:45 pm
0
0
Personally, I’d put 4 days

Personally, I’d put 4 days weeks on hold unless it becomes absolutely necessary. I once made the argument that libraries were not baby sitters, but schools are different. They have become much more than simply places to learn the basics. They are cultural centers, hopefully. Places where socialization, exposure to positive ideas and athletics occur in a safe and structured environment. Frankly, they do keep kids off the streets and provide parents with the knowledge their kids are taken care of. That's a community enhancing task. If you don’t believe the other goals of schools consider Head Start, PreK and kindergarten. There is much to school beyond what is written in lesson plans. When someone wears his or her high school ring years later, it’s the total experience of school being remembered.

scoobynews
3896
Points
scoobynews 01/21/10 - 09:15 pm
0
0
You people seriously need to

You people seriously need to take a course in the history of public education. It was not meant to be a day care nor a facility for us to use for convience when we had children. Many countries around the world don't have school like we do providing free breakfast and even lunches for that matter. This is why they are a head of us in everything. YOU choose to have children and it is your choice to provide ANY and ALL care they will need while you work to provide for them. Early schools did not provide lunch nor breakfast. Classes such as P.E., art, and music did not exist. Schools were basic and taught only what needed to be learned. Now they are million dollar care facilities.

my.voice
6324
Points
my.voice 01/21/10 - 09:20 pm
0
0
Kids getting home at 6pm each

Kids getting home at 6pm each night should do wonders for homework scores!

disssman
6
Points
disssman 01/21/10 - 10:00 pm
0
0
Wasn't mr. Howard voted into

Wasn't mr. Howard voted into office? Apparently he has a majority following of people who really support this idea in his district. I wonder why none of them wrote in to show that support? Could it be they aren't capable or reading a paper?

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