|The Atlantic reports that “Extending the school day is a lot harder than it seems:”
“CHICAGO — For decades, children here had one of the shortest elementary school days in the country. Students of all ages were in class fewer days than their peers not only nationally but also in much of the developed world.”Rahm Emanuel vowed in his successful 2011 mayoral campaign both to increase the amount of time Chicago’s students are in class and to give them a well-rounded education during their additional school hours. And by the fall of 2012, the former chief of staff to President Barack Obama had lengthened the day and year for elementary and high schools alike. Despite a budget crisis, he came up with funds to begin delivering on the second half of his promise. Schools, he said, should not have to choose between offering math or music.
“But less than a year later, the estimated amount of the Chicago Public Schools’ deficit, caused largely by a crisis in pension funding, had hit $1 billion. Today, the country’s third-largest school system is still giving its 400,000 students more time to learn, but it is no longer giving more money. In fact, it is operating with fewer teachers and support staff than it was before the longer day began.”
And in New Orleans, the post-Katrina refusal to hire back up to 7,000 tenured teachers will result on upwards of $1 billion in back wages. See the article in the New Orleans Times-Picayune:
“In a lawsuit that some say could bankrupt the Orleans Parish public school system, an appeals court has decided that the School Board wrongly terminated more than 7,000 teachers after Hurricane Katrina. Those teachers were not given due process, and many teachers had the right to be rehired as jobs opened up in the first years after the storm, the court said in a unanimous opinion.”