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Would Mannix's plan shorten school year?


Republican Kevin Mannix's plan to balance the state budget represents a $450 million hit to public schools, which could result in shortening the school year by 30 days, according to a statement from Oregon House Democratic Leader Jeff Merkley of Portland.

"This is smoke and mirrors, plain and simple," Merkley said in a memo to his House Democratic colleagues dated Dec. 9. While Mannix reportedly proposes freezing compensation for all state workers, he's really talking about public school teachers, Merkley said. "But [Mannix] ignores the fact that teachers' contracts are already in place. Thus, his 'savings' can come only by cutting classrooms and schools a callous disregard for Oregon's schoolchildren."

A cut of $450 million to schools is equivalent to shortening the school year by 30 days, Merkley figures.

Mannix also proposes to "save" $150 million in PERS costs, but Merkley said the current appropriation to K-12 schools has already accounted for reduced PERS rates. "To save an additional $150 million would require deep cuts to school programs," Merkley said.

Mannix's proposal to lower academic standards and eliminate testing could jeopardize $400 million in federal aid to Oregon schools under the No Child Left Behind Program, Merkley warned. "A reckless rewrite of state education policy during a special session could jeopardize hundreds of millions in federal help to K-12 education in Oregon," Merkley said.

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School Sucks-many students will LIKE shorter year! 05.Jan.2004 10:30

Luke from DC

As long as I am alive I will never forget the bitter years of school. To those who hate regimentation and iron discipline, high school, middle school, and even elementary school are basicly a sentence of incarceration. In fact, when I was 14 I almost committed suicide to get away from school and its discipline! Similarily, a hell of a lot of runaways are on the street because they couldn't take any more of what was being dished out at school.

Shortening the time compulsory-attendance schools are in session to balance the budget is just like releasing prisoners to balance the budget-it will make a LOT of people very happy. Children and teenagers cheer when bad weather shuts down school, and groan if money is found to extend the school year or day for "make-up."

To many, school is like unpaid work with compulsory attendance. In fact, compulsory schooling in this nation appeared at teh request of factory owners in the mid 1800's when they observed adults quitting their jobs in droves but not child laborers. They couldn't get laws to make child labor compulsory, so they called for schools modelled on the factories instead!

suck my balls luke 11.May.2004 11:30


I think lukes opinions are valid, but wrong. A long school year is good for education, and Luke is just dumb so he doesn't like school.