Throughout time education has been considered a process that every so often must be improved. The education quality in the U.S. has declined over the years and people have been looking for a way to make improvements. A more recent proposal has been to go from a traditional nine month schedule to an all year program. Supporters of year round school claim it gives the student a better education. However, the prospect of year round school is not beneficial to the taxpayers pocket, to the education a student receives, or to the people involved with the district.
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All year school ends up costing the school district and surrounding community more money than a traditional nine month schedule. “More funds would be needed to cover the costs of paying the teachers and staff for one full year instead of for 180 days work.” ( Sevetson 2). “Teachers currently make an average of $37, 000 in the United States. However, the costs would increase to $53, 000 to keep the teachers for a full year.” (Somerby 8). Currently, a district uses a lot of its budget on paying teachers. Once the increased costs are put in place, the budget depletes rapidly. Yet teachers must be paid, as they are the cornerstone of education. Also, it takes additional funds to run the school all year, due to things such as air conditioning in the summer (White 28). Many schools due not currently need AC systems to be used. However, AC is a costly amenity and if schools are held open three additional months, AC becomes a heavy factor. Not to mention, the level of supplies and paper that is consumed would be more than 33% larger (Sardo- Brown 26). Costs per school for items, such as paper, increase due to constant use. (White 29). Students would be deprived of such simple items such as worksheets or class handouts. Outside costs, such as transportation and equipment for activities would go up for constant maintenance (Sardo Brown 27). Buses that travel every school day use the districts money for gasoline and repairs. The money needed to cover the maintenance These costs can be very hard for a district to swallow, because they must be covered by someone. Taxes would have to shoot up to solve the dilemma. Overall, the costs add up and equal a loss for students environment.
Due to the structuring, students and teachers would not be given time to recuperate from the prior year and to prepare for the future. Many students use the summer for a vacation with their parents. However, with a school in the summer it would be much harder for a family to find a convenient time. Research shows that students would be more likely to burnout from school as they are not given an extended break in the summer (White 29). Teachers are also not given enough time to prepare for their next incoming class (Sevetson 3). An unprepared teacher can only mean much more time wasted. The summer has also been a time when students can change their lifestyles. “Many students and teachers rely on the summer for a chance to mature and grow a little older. With year round school, many lose that chance to change an attitude problem or become wiser.” (Sardo- Brown and Rooney 25). It is important that students continue to mature throughout high school. Year- round school does not guarantee that this will occur. Time spent with friends would also decrease as many students run on different schedules. Friendship is one of the most important things in the development of today’s child (Sardo-Brown 27). However, year round school separates most students into about two or three different schedules (Somerby 8). Students are not given any preference as to which one they follow and it is simply a luck of the draw.
The biggest problem would be the adaptation to a schedule by the students and teachers. For students already in junior high or high school, year round school would be a hard schedule to follow (Sevetson 2). After years of following one method, they would be told to suddenly switch tracks completely. Students would then lose a chance for improved education. Similarly, teachers would not have the time needed to take additional classes to improve their teaching methods (Somerby 9). ” How can a district expect education to improve if teachers can’t improve their own personal education ?” (Somerby 9). Students moving out of the district would be in conflict with a district that had a nine month schedule. “For a military family or any family that is at risk, a year round schedule can only mean a nightmare.” (White 27). Also, special events such as graduation or the beginning of the school year would all be lost in the shuffle from year to year (Sardo- Brown 27). This means that after years of hard work in school, graduating seniors would all but not matter.
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A revision does indeed need to occur in the U.S. education system. The facts all do point to other countries flying by the U.S. However, year round school is not what students need. It has too many downfalls and not enough benefits. Costs and scheduling are too huge of problems to be ignored. The nine month schedule must remain the basis for education in America. The changes that need to occur do not involve the schedule. They concern the actual education taught in classes. A change to the traditional calendar only sinks education lower off the charts.
Sardo- Brown, Deborah and Rooney, Micheal. “The Vote on All-Yaear Schools.”
American School Board Journal. July 1992; 25-27.
Sevetson, Martha. “Try, try Again: All Year Long.” The Wichita Eagle. 13 September 1992; 1D+
Somerby, Robert. “Are these the Right Goals for Education in the 90’s ?” The Baltimore Sun. 15 April, 1990. D8+ natl.ed.
White, William D. “Year Round No More.” American School Board Journal. July 1992; 27-30.