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AZ Governor wants to add six weeks and longer days to school year
Daily Dispatch ^ | Howard Fischer/Capitol Media Services

Posted on 08/24/2005 11:21:48 AM PDT by hsmomx3

PHOENIX - Gov. Janet Napolitano is going to unveil a plan today that could make summer vacation for students go the way of slide rules and clapping erasers outside the building.

The proposal being announced this morning in Washington seeks a 210-day school year, particularly in school districts with a large percentage of students who perform poorly. That is six weeks longer than the 180 days now required under Arizona law and six weeks longer than the national average.

But that's not all: The report by a national task force which Napolitano co-chairs also wants a longer school day. It does not specify a length but refers to a chain of charter schools where students attend from 7:30 a.m. until 5 p.m. - and half a day on Saturday.

Panel members also are recommending full-day kindergarten, something Napolitano already is trying to implement in Arizona. But they also want preschool available for all 3- and 4-year-old children.

The report's authors acknowledge there is a cost: It puts the price tag for just beginning to implement the recommendations at $325 billion over the next decade.

And just the preschool proposal is figured at $11.6 billion a year, even if limited only to students from low-income families.

But the study says every dollar spent on preschool returns $7, both in terms of higher earning as well as avoided costs of crime and remedial education.

Other costs are not spelled out. But there are some guideposts.

For example, Arizona voters approved a measure five years ago to extend the school year by just five days, to the current 180. And that carries a price tag of $86.3 million.

And providing state-funded full-day kindergarten in Arizona is estimated to cost close to $200 million.

Napolitano told Capitol Media Services Monday night she has "some problems'' with the fact that students in Arizona are in school only 180 days. But neither was she ready to say that 210 days is the appropriate number.

"We need to identify the standards that an Arizona diploma represents and then calculate what that means in terms of students in seats, with qualified teachers, learning the stuff,'' Napolitano said. The governor stressed that if additional classroom time is mandated, it needs to be "time well spent'' and not just having students sitting at desks for more hours.

Becky Hill, the governor's education adviser, said panel members, who had hearings in several cities including Phoenix, studied the experience of charter schools which have more flexibility in their schedules.

"And the longer day and the longer year is something that repeatedly charter schools are seeing lots and lots of success with,'' Hill said. "And it needs to be applied in a broader, more global scale.''

She said this is particularly true for students who are falling behind who "need a little extra time to catch up.''

The task force was put together by the Institute for America's Future and the Center for American Progress. Toby Chaudhuri, who handles media for the Institute, described both as "progressive'' think tanks. But he acknowledged that both tend to lean toward Democratic principles, much in the same way he said the Heritage Foundation supports Republican causes.

But Chaudhuri noted that while Napolitano is a Democratic politico, the other two co-chairs are not: Philip Murphy, senior director of the Goldman Sachs Group and Roger Wilkins, a professor of history and American culture at George Mason University.

TOPICS: Business/Economy; Crime/Corruption; Culture/Society; Government; Politics/Elections; US: Arizona
KEYWORDS: education; idiot; napolitano; schools
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To: JillValentine

Kids need summer vacations to just be "kids". Most of my best memories are of summer vacations in my youth. There will be plenty of time for "nose to the grindstone" later. I am looking for the hidden agenda here. Are we having a problem with educating our "illegal immigrant" children and still maintaining in the presently alotted school year? I really can not see the teachers being for this... Maybe someone else has a different angle on this issue?

21 posted on 08/24/2005 12:09:52 PM PDT by Sterco
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To: Sterco

All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.

22 posted on 08/24/2005 12:15:22 PM PDT by Dr. Zzyzx
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To: ChildOfThe60s

I have a homeschooled WGK also ! Time per day - 2 hours, plus any free reading. Result - excellence.

It's the Robert Reich agenda - take the kids away from the family so they can be given the proper social attitudes. Skills are secondary.

23 posted on 08/24/2005 12:25:12 PM PDT by cinives (On some planets what I do is considered normal.)
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To: hsmomx3

Brought to you by full-time working moms&dads who just don't know what to do with Billy and Susie after school and during the summer. Publik skrewl has become just another daycare option for parents (ergo, lowering the attendance age to 3), with the added benefit of the bill being footed by your friendly neighborhood taxpayers.

24 posted on 08/24/2005 12:30:29 PM PDT by shezza (God Bless Our Troops)
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To: hsmomx3

Parents who work love the idea of putting the kids in school for a full work day.

Teachers love the idea that they can get big raises for these "additional" workdays, even though normally they denounce anybody who says their pay is enough because they don't work all year. (in other words, they say they should be paid like full-time employees, but whenever a day is added to the school year they say they should be paid more for the additional work (I agree with the 2nd point, disagree with the 1st)).

Public Preschool is just a way to destroy church-run preschools, which won't be able to compete with free school and won't be allowed money from the pot for preschool because of the "separation of church and state".

The extra time will allow them to do more diversity training, more anti-drug training, and more sex education.

Why do kids these days need YEARS of sex ed? It isn't really all that hard, is it? And how much time does it really take to say "Drugs are Illegal. Don't Use them".

The School system, typical government: "Hi, we are the school system. We are incompetent, and are failing in our basic task of educating your children. So you should pay us more money, and give us your children at an earlier age, for longer hours, and for more days."

25 posted on 08/24/2005 12:30:52 PM PDT by CharlesWayneCT
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To: Sterco

I agree with you. And I sure hope we can field a viable Republican to run against her.

It wasn't too many years ago that she called a special session of the Legislature to throw millions of dollars at schools statewide to solve some problem. Apparently that was money down a rathole.

26 posted on 08/24/2005 12:31:59 PM PDT by Tarantulas ( - the BorderPundit blog - a Border Issues weblog)
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To: JillValentine
On a positive note, if a Democratic governor increases the length of the school year, more of today's generation of children might become Republicans.

That's definitely making lemonade out of lemons.

27 posted on 08/24/2005 12:33:45 PM PDT by darkangel82
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To: hsmomx3
Let's see.

This is totally ludicrous.

What makes one think that what they couldn't teach a child in 180 days, they can accomplish in 210.

We need to stop this and actually let kids be kids. I have a six year old at home who stresses out every evening because she has two hours of homework. Mind you, she leaves the first grade knowing enough to get her through the next couple of grades, but geesh when can she have time to play and enjoy.

I just think that the school systems in the US are doing a poor job at educating our youngsters. They feed them all this dribble that doesn't amount to anything and then punishes them for not knowing enough.
28 posted on 08/24/2005 12:41:16 PM PDT by magnieye (American and Cuban....and proud of both....)
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To: Clemenza


The democrats get a major portion of their campaign contributions and votes via these unions in a nice little scam.

Step 1: Raise teachers salaries via the union paid for by state taxpayers. Teachers work longer = more union dues. Unions = happy. Democrats get to raise taxes = happy.

Step 2: Union raises union dues as teacher salaries increase.

Step 3: Dems make sure its required by law that teachers join union or they are fired.

Step 4: Unions take a cut of this money and heavily contribute to democratic re-election campaigns.

Step 5: Teachers told to vote democrat in elections to protect their salaries.

29 posted on 08/24/2005 12:43:24 PM PDT by Proud_USA_Republican
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To: cinives

Exactly, they need this much time for Socialization (regimentation & indoctrination).

30 posted on 08/24/2005 12:47:20 PM PDT by ChildOfThe60s (If you can remember the weren't really there.)
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To: Proud_USA_Republican

That's pretty much the story with the "class size amendment" here in Florida. The NEA was behind it in a major way because of the number of new teachers that have to be hired. 10's of thousands.

Guess what? Polk county is going to quadruple the impact fee for new homes in order to fund the neccessary buildings and salary. Roughly going from $1,800 to $7,000+ ....per home. That's on top of property tax rates increases of 30% [unincorporated areas] and 15% [incorporated areas].

The irony here is that we voted out 5 (of 6) commissioners over the last 2 elections because they had imposed a 6¢ per gallon county gas tax (after we said NO in a referendum). Now their replacements are doing this. It is absolutely infuriating.

These people are like vampires. Sucking the economic life out of all of us here.

31 posted on 08/24/2005 12:57:35 PM PDT by ChildOfThe60s (If you can remember the weren't really there.)
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To: dhs12345

I just took a look at my school district's web site. Many half days. In fact, quite a few along with Spring Break, Fall Break, Winter Break, etc.

In this district, the Supt. loves to quote John Dewey. Thank goodness my kids are homeschooled four days a week, and they go to co-op classes the fifth day, all day.

32 posted on 08/24/2005 12:59:00 PM PDT by hsmomx3 (Steelers in '06)
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To: azcap

We wish!! And I want a prop. tax rebate for my share as well as I have three kids who are homeschooled.

33 posted on 08/24/2005 12:59:51 PM PDT by hsmomx3 (Steelers in '06)
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To: hsmomx3
Wow, I didn't even think of that aspect. Makes perfect sense.

With the extra time, will the students 'catch up' or learn more? In other words, will we see increases in academic performance like charter schools? Or just the same academic performance spread out over longer time, with an additional cry for more tax dollars 'for the children'? Is it a cover for those kids who need summer school to catch up (and mask poor performance of some schools) or will it actually improve kids academic performance and results? I wonder if the Gov cares to answer those questions? (Not!)

34 posted on 08/24/2005 1:12:53 PM PDT by fortunecookie
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To: hsmomx3

I told this to my homeschooled son who has had some curiousity about public schools. I got through about 3/4 of the article before he said, "Enough! I've heard enough!"

35 posted on 08/24/2005 2:08:22 PM PDT by HungarianGypsy (They're coming to take me away.....)
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To: ChildOfThe60s

Here's the proof:

They are now refering to our newly non-elected governor sweetly as: Mrs. Stalin

Washington Employee Union Strong Arms Workers to Join

A union representing state workers in Washington State is looking to stem the tide of declining union membership by using a new tactic -- force employees to join or get fired.

After being elected earlier this year, Washington State Governor Christine Gregoire gave the Washington Federation of State Employees the authority to fire any state worker who either refused to join or pay the "representation fee" of $45 a month.

This measure was part of a larger effort to water down the Personnel Reform Act of 2002. The act gave managers more flexibility in hiring and firing and allowed workers to bargain directly with the governor on provisions of their contracts, according to

The state employees union successfully lobbied the new governor to allow the union to challenge provisions in the new law, such as making it easier to fire bad workers or perform outsourcing. The watering down of the Personnel Reform Act will mean higher labor costs for the state government, which will be passed on to taxpayers.

Since the measure was approved by the governor, membership in the state employees union has practically doubled with income reaching $10 million, as reported on The big increase in membership is state employees joining the union because they are afraid of losing their jobs. "I think a lot of us jumped on the bandwagon out of fear," said state employee, Kristie Hubble.

Not only will workers be forced to support a union they may not like, but also political candidates. The union contributes overwhelmingly to the Democratic Party, who receives 75 percent of their contributions. State union employees are supporting the Democratic Party whether if they like it or not.

36 posted on 08/24/2005 2:15:12 PM PDT by Proud_USA_Republican
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To: hsmomx3

BFLR = Bump for later reading.

37 posted on 08/24/2005 5:21:23 PM PDT by Kevin OMalley (No, not Freeper#95235, Freeper #1165: Charter member, What Was My Login Club.)
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To: HungarianGypsy

Our property tax statements will be posted online eff. September 1st. I wonder how much they will be going up? Also remember that we have to pay that special county health tax now as well.

38 posted on 08/24/2005 5:40:06 PM PDT by hsmomx3 (Steelers in '06)
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To: hsmomx3

I'm not saying they should do this but it might help(of course more taxes are bad). I've had very good teachers but it's next to impossible to finish the textbook by the end of the year. We always miss the last couple of chapters. I'm in an Arizona school and we have pretty easy hours.

7:40 - 2:15MTTF On Wednesday 7:40-1:15 Aug.15-May 24

BTW-I've been to schools in Tennessee and Arizona and both have been very good with good teachers. Don't know if they are anomalies or what.

39 posted on 08/25/2005 7:26:22 PM PDT by onja ("The government of England is a limited mockery." (France is a complete mockery.)
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To: T Minus Four

I'm sure the teacher's union will be pleased to hear this news! After all, they really only care about the children and their level of education.

40 posted on 08/25/2005 7:29:22 PM PDT by ElRushbo (Harley Riders against Elton John)
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