Thursday, December 11, 2008

Skoolz Out

Mike sent along this Albany article on the feasability of reducing the school week from 5 days to 4 to save money. It's something we're all talking about, but the minuses right now seem to outweigh the pluses. Transportation costs are significant to the state but not to the individual districts--we get substantial state aid for transportation. We still have to heat and light the schools if there are sports activities or other community events happening over the long weekends. As for personnel costs, the only savings I can see would be for cafeteria workers and bus drivers, which would require contract revisions, and we couldn't very likely just chop their benefits when we cut back their hours. The minuses include the very real question of what working families would do with their children on Fridays. Not that our educational system is just one big babysitter. But it is.

I'd rather get rid of BOCES (billions saved instantly!) and run school year round. But BOCES has managed to sell itself to the state as a bastion of consolidated services and cost containment as opposed to the bloated, self-perpetuating bureaucracy it has devolved into, so I don't think my plan will pass muster.

No comments: