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Missouri House endorses four-day school week option

Tuesday, February 24, 2009 | 12:50 p.m. CST

JEFFERSON CITY — The Missouri House gives first-round approval to a bill that would give school districts the option of holding classes four days a week.

Districts choosing a four-day week could lengthen their school days by an hour and have 32 fewer days of instruction each year. The total number of annual instruction hours would stay the same.

The bill needs another House vote before moving to the Senate.

Supporters say some rural school districts are interested in the idea because it would save money on transportation and utilities.

But critics raise concerns about a potential drop in educational quality and an increase in day care costs for some parents.

 


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Comments

Charles Dudley Jr February 24, 2009 | 1:03 p.m.

Oh great parents do not do much to teach their kids in the home now and they want to cut the school week to only 4 days?

What the hell are these people thinking?

(Report Comment)
John Schultz February 24, 2009 | 1:43 p.m.

Chuck, where did you go to school at?

"The total number of annual instruction hours would stay the same."

(Report Comment)
Charles Dudley Jr February 24, 2009 | 2:18 p.m.

John Schultz chairman of the Libertarian Party of Boone County you just do not get or see the entire picture of this entire issue do you?

They have enough out of school days now with oddles of teacher in service days through out the year and other times too. Now they want to give or make them take more days off which if you remember what your grandma told you long ago an idle mind and busy hands will find trouble every time.

So you are in favor of having more kids out of school and on the streets three days out of the week instead of two?

Let's look at this from these points of view:

Could or would this contribute to more crime in our state?

How will parents pay for extra day care when they are tapped out now?

Where do you impose that all of these kids go during the day where they will stay out of trouble?

Look at the entire issue John from as far outside of the box here before you make a fool out of yourself and only are found to look at one tiny spec of the issue.

Cut it up like you would a pie graft into it's realistic values. You will see what I mean by my above presentation.

Oh and John when I was in school it was 5 days a week,no in service teacher's days and we went to school rain snow or shine but that was back in the day before the schools coddled kids as they do now.

(Report Comment)
John Schultz February 24, 2009 | 2:33 p.m.

Nice of you to assume how I lean on this manner, Chuck. You'll note that I did not say I was for or against this law, I only pointed out an obvious fact that you seemed to have missed in the story that just as much classroom time would still be required. Letting local school boards decide this issue might be of benefit to certain communities.

Maybe you should have posted your epic rant as your first post instead of deriding parents as usual?

(Report Comment)
K Weber February 24, 2009 | 2:50 p.m.

As a single parent who works full time and solely support us, I can barely manage the constant number of days my son is out of school for this teachers training, that teachers day, it's every other week! HAS EVERYONE FORGOT THAT THE SCHOOLS ARE FOR THE CHILDREN TO GO AND TO LEARN! They are out if it's too hot, too cold, too slick, for teachers to do whatever on every other week. KIDS NEED TO GO TO SCHOOL!!!! This is ridiculous! A 5 day school week, every week, and teachers can meet before school, after school, during lunch, during holidays. Sorry teachers who are going to complain - YOU chose your career. Just as I chose mine! Seems to me since they cram kids into a 15-20 minute lunch period they need to extend the day!

(Report Comment)
Charles Dudley Jr February 24, 2009 | 4:33 p.m.

No John I did not miss anything in the article and I choose to focus on the bad sides of this bill that effect us all not just the select group of people.

K Weber I like your post. Great points made.

(Report Comment)
Matt Y February 24, 2009 | 4:54 p.m.

I don't have an opinion either way, although I do maintain that schools aren't day cares and should not be responsible for arranging for their care when a parent is unable to. I don't see why this would be a problem is a given community votes and approves it. This should be a purely local matter.

(Report Comment)
Charles Dudley Jr February 24, 2009 | 6:31 p.m.

Matt Y and when those kids are out those extra days and some of those kids contribute to the growing crime rates too just who do you honestly think is going to pick up the tab for the extra police that might be needed?

It will be you the tax payer. I hope you and others are ready to fork it over with no complaints. After all you see nothing wrong with it right?

(Report Comment)
Ayn Rand February 24, 2009 | 7:14 p.m.

Chuck, the primary role of schools is education, not baby-sitting. Period. Get that through your head.

If more kids commit more crime, force the parents to pick up the tab. They're already required to pay ~$60 when a school sends their kid to juve for misbehaving. We need more such fines across the board. If the parents are on public assistance, take it out of their check. But don't stick responsible parents and non-parents with the bill.

Parents are already legally responsible for their kids, even if they're 17 or 18 and have moved out of the house. Let the state and/or city sue the parents to recover their costs. Make them take full responsibility for the children they choose to make.

(Report Comment)
Charles Dudley Jr February 24, 2009 | 7:38 p.m.

Ayn Rand you know the state is not going to sue the parents.

The city,county and state are just going to add it to your taxes.

Think in reality not as you see the world.

I still stick by my views.

(Report Comment)
Matt Y February 24, 2009 | 8:00 p.m.

My initial argument stands, but on the flip side, Chuck, I ask you to consider another scenario. There are some small farming communities which could desperately use a 4-day week. Some families would be greatly aided the children having an extra day off since they are needed to help work the fields and tend to the livestock. I don't see why we should prevent those localities from allowing this.

(Report Comment)
Matt Y February 24, 2009 | 8:01 p.m.

Once again, words mysteriously disappear from my posts. That should read:

"Some families would be greatly aided by children having an extra day off, since they are needed to help work the fields and tend to the livestock.

(Report Comment)
Ayn Rand February 24, 2009 | 8:20 p.m.

Obama sez, "Take responsibility."

(Report Comment)
Charles Dudley Jr February 25, 2009 | 3:49 a.m.

Matt Y it does not apply like that in a city the size of Columbia by any means.

(Report Comment)
Matt Y February 25, 2009 | 8:01 a.m.

Are you dense? When did I ever mention Columbia?

(Report Comment)
Jim Dog February 25, 2009 | 10:24 a.m.

Matt - I can answer that one. Yes. Charles Dudley Jr., the person who spends between 8 and 10 hours per day commenting on news articles, is dense.

Read the very first sentence of the story. This bill would give school districts the OPTION of holding classes four days a week.

Options are good. I can't imagine that a city like Columbia would ever exercise their OPTION to go to a four day school week, but in many rural areas, there are districts that may wish to exercise this OPTION.

(Report Comment)
Charles Dudley Jr February 25, 2009 | 11:55 a.m.

Jim Dog you miss the fact that the even thought of it is beyond alot of things. Thing farther on the issue than off the end of your nose.

This is an issue that effects more citizens that you might actually realize besides the kids,parents,school district personal types.

Think much broader and bigger for a change.

(Report Comment)
Ray Shapiro February 25, 2009 | 12:38 p.m.

From the article: "Districts choosing a four-day week could lengthen their school days by an hour and have 32 fewer days of instruction each year. The total number of annual instruction hours would stay the same."

When would "number of days in school" options stop?
3 days of school a week? That would mean 64 days saved on transportation and utilities.
Traditionally, the 5 day public school day allowed for at least one parent to work a paid 5-day full-time job, while the other was involved in "house work" and in the community activities, such as the PTA or Church volunteer work. If the family was able to have both parents working a "regular" job, so be it.
Kids either hiked to school, biked to school or were dropped off by someone other than the school paid bus driver. Why do the public schools even provide "free bus service" to begin with? As a parent, shouldn't I be able to figure out how my own kid gets to school other than "free" public school buses?
How lazy, spoiled and uncreative have parents and bureaucrats become?
Per the article, "supporters say some rural school districts are interested in the idea because it would save money on transportation and utilities."
I say, work on the quality of education and make our schools a healthier
environment for our kids and teachers.
If saving money on transportation and utilities are that important, then I suggest school districts "go green," modify the "free" bus program or find some other ways to "save or raise" money.

(Report Comment)
Jim Dog February 25, 2009 | 3:34 p.m.

Charles Dudley Jr., the person who spends between 8 and 10 hours per day commenting on news articles - can you please explain to me in ENGLISH what you are talking about? Reread your response, and you will see it makes no sense.

Ray - I am not in favor of going to a 4 day school week. And like you, I have never figured out the whole school bus thing,. But options are good. Options bring the decision making ability back to the local level, which is where they belong.

(Report Comment)
Charles Dudley Jr February 25, 2009 | 3:53 p.m.

Jim Dog you miss the fact that it is beyond alot of things you are thinking about. Think farther on the issue than off the end of your nose.

This is an issue that effects more citizens that you might actually realize besides the kids,parents,school district personal types.

Think much broader and bigger for a change.

(Report Comment)
John Schultz February 25, 2009 | 4:12 p.m.

Jim, look at Chuck's rant at the beginning of this thread, that is what he is trying to say again (I think).

(Report Comment)
Jim Dog February 25, 2009 | 4:55 p.m.

Charles Dudley Jr., the person who spends between 8 and 10 hours per day commenting on news articles - perhaps you are the one who needs to look beyond your own nose.

Are you aware that in the state of Missouri, there are 43 school DISTRICTS with 100 or less students? There are 247 school DISTRICTS with less then 500 students.

Missouri has hundreds of small, very tight-knit communities. Communities where the residents stick together, work together, and support one-another. A four day school week in some of these communities may be a huge blessing. But right now, a four day school week is not an option for them. The state mandates a five day week.

Look at the entire issue Charles Dudley Jr., the person who spends between 8 and 10 hours per day commenting on news articles from as far outside of the box here before you make a fool out of yourself and only are found to look at one tiny spec of the issue.

(Report Comment)
Mike Martin February 25, 2009 | 5:24 p.m.

Has anyone heard that rumor that one of our local newspapers is planning a story about none other than Charles Dudley, Jr. ?

As I understand it, it's "read a story in Columbia, almost any online story, and you'll see a name that's become synonymous with blog commentary: Charles Dudley, Jr."

The Columbia Heart Beat is not a newspaper, so it's not us.
Chuck, have you heard about this?

(Report Comment)
Charles Dudley Jr February 25, 2009 | 5:53 p.m.

No I have not and Mike that is really kind of mocking in a way isn't it? That is really not your style.

(Report Comment)
Charles Dudley Jr February 25, 2009 | 6:09 p.m.

Jim Dog you still are not even thinking of all of the issues involved in this.

Watch for a letter to the editor by me tomorrow or soon then go answer all of those questions you are not addressing nor have been addressed nor spoken about by local or state media.

(Report Comment)
Ayn Rand February 25, 2009 | 6:51 p.m.

Of course there will be a letter to the editor. We expect no less.

(Report Comment)
Mike Martin February 25, 2009 | 11:21 p.m.

Not sure how mentioning a possible story planned about someone is mocking them. But if it sounds like that, it's too bad that the tension level on some of these blogs has gotten so high that almost anything anyone writes is taken negatively. Frankly, it's one reason I don't post much anymore.

(Report Comment)
Ray Shapiro February 25, 2009 | 11:47 p.m.

Jim Dog:
I totally agree with the concept of local school boards making decisions and having options. I think it would be more appropriate for school boards to have the option to petition the state for a 4 day school week.
Approval of this variance would have to be predicated on more than just utility and transportation savings.
Those smarter than I should work on the parameters.

(Report Comment)
Jake Sherlock February 26, 2009 | 8:15 a.m.

In case you missed Chuck's letter:

http://www.columbiamissourian.com/storie...

He and I had a nice conversation about it yesterday, and he brings up some interesting concerns. For instance, what if one of the metro school districts were to decide to cut back to 4 days per week? Sure, the legislation is geared toward smaller districts, but what happens if one of these big districts decides to adopt 4-day weeks?

Please discuss. We're all intelligent people who care about what is happening in our city, our county, our state and our nation. As Mike noted on this thread, the tone has really turned very negative -- I'd even say nasty. Can't we discuss and agree to disagree without the negativity?

Jake Sherlock
Opinion editor

(Report Comment)
Marcie McShane February 26, 2009 | 9:52 a.m.

Jake,
It would be nice if we could post without any negativity. The very first time I ever posted here, my comments were strictly in response to a particular article and I was immediately attacked for my remarks by another post. Their comments were not aimed at the content of the story but at the content of my remarks. Therefore, I seldom post. Perhaps you could limit the number of posts per day by any one person. Then the rest of us could actually post our comments without having to constantly see what Charles Dudley thinks of them, because we don't care.

(Report Comment)
Ray Shapiro February 26, 2009 | 10:18 a.m.

Marcie McShane:
Even people with Tourette's syndrome sometimes manage to find good things to say.
I suggest you try to hear through the Tourette's.

(Report Comment)
Ayn Rand February 26, 2009 | 10:27 a.m.

Jake, it would be great if the Missourian would create a forum like the Trib Board. The current format of posting on articles doesn't allow posters to ignore other posters, whereas sites such as the Trib Board have an ignore feature.

If you don't do something about people who fly off the handle over every little thing, this site is going to suffer the same fate as KOMU's forum and the first Missourian forum.

(Report Comment)
Charles Dudley Jr February 26, 2009 | 10:35 a.m.

Columbia Heartbeat sorry Mike but I had heard no such news nor gotten any phone calls,email or contacts.

My bad man but as always my phone is open and my email too.

As Jake says this is kind of a serious issue.

Marcie McShane there is nothing in the guidelines here nor anywhere that demands you read anybody's commentary so please just scroll by mine thank you very much. I will not know the difference anyway.

Have a great day.

(Report Comment)
Marcie McShane February 26, 2009 | 11:48 a.m.

Ray, who are you saying has Tourette's - Charles or myself?

(Report Comment)
Rob Weir February 26, 2009 | 12:26 p.m.

@ Ayn: We are working on a Web redesign as part of a software project. I'd love to hear your thoughts on how to make commenting better. weirr@missouri.edu or 573-882-5057

Rob Weir
Director of Digital Development
The Columbia Missourian

(Report Comment)
John Schultz February 26, 2009 | 1:29 p.m.

Rob, if the Missourian stays with the current system, expanding the list of comments that appears on the left side of the website to ten comments or so would be useful. Thanks!

(Report Comment)
Ayn Rand February 26, 2009 | 2:09 p.m.

Rob, I agree with John's suggestion about the list of comments. Is there a way to turn that list into a box that you can scroll through to get, say, the 25 most recent? Then it wouldn't be this huge list taking up a lot of real estate.

Another thing to consider is whether you want people to do more than comment on stories. In other words, if you want this site to be a discussion area for the community, should you add a forum, too, so people can create discussion topics instead of only commenting on articles? A forum could be useful for story ideas if people wind up posting things that they otherwise wouldn't put in the form of a comment unrelated to a news story.

Let me know if that's helpful.

(Report Comment)
Rob Weir February 26, 2009 | 2:30 p.m.

@John: One thing we know is that we won't be staying with the current system. The new CMS won't work with Django/Python, which is our current codebase.

We've thought about changing the homepage comments list to something that displays only "unique" comments (i.e., it won't repeat a user.) But that's kind of complicated coding. I like changing it to "most commented" stories in a new system.

@Ayn: Good ideas. We're experimenting with accordion Javascripts (like these http://jquery.bassistance.de/accordion/d...) for several of those boxes.

As far as a forum, we're also debating that -- we have the MyMissourian site, which seems to duplicate many of the forum functions, but it's not well integrated into the Missourian's site right now. I'd like to see a forum, but the test would be to see if it could pull users from existing forums, like the Trib board or Tigerboard.

Everyone: Feel free to take a look at the current discussion and to leave your comments http://missourianmakeover.wordpress.com/... or on my blog http://jschooltiger.wordpress.com/

Rob Weir
Director of Digital Development
The Columbia Missourian

(Report Comment)
Ayn Rand February 26, 2009 | 2:38 p.m.

I don't think you'd have a problem drawing from the Trib Board. For one, it's shutting down, so many of them will want someplace to go. For another, many of its posters are already on here.

(Report Comment)
Charles Dudley Jr February 26, 2009 | 3:27 p.m.

Ayn Rand lol ya draw from Trib Board the biggest flame festival of a community forum on line in Columbia. You must be wanting the Missourian to commit public access internet suicide of sorts.

That was one reason Trib Board closed so they could move it all into one format and thus eliminate the need for two sets of formalities of moderation. Now the Trib has it all under one roof thus copying the style here.

Ayn Rand just where is their staff going to come from and I am talking their paid staff to run after every little time somebody slams the report button because some poster hurt their feelings?

Where are they to get the money to pay extra staff or do you suggest their already busy staff work double? They sure are not going to let volunteers have access to moderate I am sure. That would be like giving a crack addict access to the bag.

The real solution is a independently run community forum free of all of the local media influence involvement but still allow total inclusion of all related articles.

The thing is though it must have a set of member guidelines and respectable enough people who would want to moderate and develop it to see it grow instead of becoming a flame fest of B.S. like Trib Board was.

(Report Comment)
Ayn Rand February 26, 2009 | 3:47 p.m.

Charles Dudley Jr., the person who spends between 8 and 10 hours per day commenting on news articles, why don't you apply for the moderator job?

(Report Comment)
Rob Weir February 26, 2009 | 3:49 p.m.

@Chuck: You and Ayn have both given me good ideas, on the blog and via e-mail. Neither set of ideas are incompatible with the other, so no reason to flame at one another. Thanks

(Report Comment)

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