The recent Pacific Northwest snow birthed many stories for the news to cover, some valid, some not. I laughed while watching one interview with a native New Englander who rightly pointed out that had this storm happened in Connecticut, there would have been school all week. But when she complained about school being cancelled because of the inconvenience to her, I was annoyed.
The attitude still persists among many parents that schools are nothing more than a glorified day care. I wish we could find a way to get past that. I don't think many will go for my proposal, but here it is.
As long as parents and society continue to view schools as a holding place for their children, I propose we give them what they want. Forget the idea of compulsory education completely paid for by the government.
First, the government will now only have to front the money for operational costs. Administrators, janitors, district personell, transportation and building maintenance will all be provided for through the governmental funds. I would also put in that category the curriculum and supplies.
Second, the parents would then be responsibile for paying an hourly wage to the teachers. Let's set that at the current minimum wage, 5.15 an hour.
At the high school level, we have hour long class periods--approximately. In my first period Pre-College English class, I have 31 students--all for an hour. That translates into $159.65 for first period. Unfortunately, periods 2,3,5 are courses for accelerating student learning, so I have a grand total of 33 students between the three; that puts my earnings for those periods at $169.95. My sixth period class has 30 students, giving me an additional $154.50. That would be $484.10 if my math is correct. If we went to school for 182 days, that would mean a total of $88,106. 20. Over twice my current going rate.
If this were the case, I would really push for that increase to $7.25 an hour. That would mean $124,033 a year. Maybe I will vote for a Democrat in 2008!