Why cut your core service?
I shake my head every time I see stories like this: To Cut Costs, 120+ Districts Shift to 4-Day Weeks.
"It got down to monetary reasons more than anything else," Superintendent Larry Johnke said. The $50,000 savings will preserve a vocational education program that otherwise would have been scrapped.
The tradeoff here is not between a fifth day of school and voc-ed. That program was likely just the easiest to cut without running up against the union, school board, or some other stakeholder.
This feels so obvious I shouldn't have to write it, but the basic job of schools is schooling. What ancillary program, benefit, or perk could possibly be so important that it's worth cutting 20% of the core function of schools to preserve? And if you can't afford five days of school a week in your current configuration, reconfigure. Don't cut 20% of the main service taxpayers pay you to provide.
? Chris Tessone
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About the Editor
Bernard Lee Schwartz Policy Fellow
Chris Tessone was a Bernard Lee Schwartz Policy Fellow and the Director of Finance of the Thomas B. Fordham Institute. He has strong interests in governance and education finance, especially teacher compensation and school facilities finance.
May 16, 2013