School Superintendent Kathy Cox felt compelled today to issue a clarification to one of her deputy’s comments yesterday at a budget hearing that Georgia might have have to reduce its school year, now set by law at 180 days.
I am not exactly sure what the superintendent is saying here, but having worked my way through high school, college and grad school as a waitress in many fine establishments, I can testify that you have to get in early and stay late. I can also say that there is no better moment in life than when you have escorted all your IHOP customers out the door, locked it behind them and sat down to a customized chocolatee chip pancake with extra chocolate chips and whip cream. To be 18 again.
I understand and agree that teachers need time before school begins and after it ends, but I am not sure how strongly, if at all, Cox is calling for tweaks to the 180-days in view of the budget crisis. Read it and let us know what you think.
Here is the superintendent’s statement, which will explain my pancake nostalgia:
Superintendent Cox issued the following statement today:
“I believe there is a need for clarification about the Department of Education’s position regarding the state budget. I maintain that drastic and severe cuts hurt teachers and students and negatively impact the progress we have made in recent years. If there are further cuts to QBE (school system funding) then we can’t expect things to be business as usual. While we fully recognize the severity of our revenue shortfall, we are not in favor of additional cuts to public K-12 education.
It is unrealistic to think that you can truly retain 180 days of quality instruction for students if all ten days of pre- and post-planning for teachers are cut. Expecting teachers to begin and end a school year on the same day students do is like a restaurant manager asking staff members to show up at the same time the first customer is to be served. That manager knows that if dinner service starts at 5:00 you better be willing to pay your chef to come in for preparation a few hours earlier. And when have you ever seen the staff leave the restaurant at the same time as the last customer? That restaurant would not be successful. Similarly, teachers need preparation time to be successful.
I appreciate the diligence of the legislators and the seriousness of their exploration of all the issues and all the options. We will continue to work with them to find the best solution for our state.”