Give us your 2 centsNews that the Cloquet School District plans to shave 10 days off the 2012-13 school year to save money garnered mixed reactions. While most children likely greeted the news with unfettered joy, parents and education-minded residents weren’t as happy.
By: Jana Peterson, Pine Journal
News that the Cloquet School District plans to shave 10 days off the 2012-13 school year to save money garnered mixed reactions. While most children likely greeted the news with unfettered joy, parents and education-minded residents weren’t as happy.
None of us should have been surprised, however. District officials have been very clear about money struggles as a result of declining state aid, and when the second levy request failed last November it doomed any number of extracurricular activities and district initiatives.
As a parent of two third-graders and a sixth-grader, I wish the Cloquet School Board would give the voters a second chance to make it right. I’m certain that childcare for an extra two weeks of summer will cost me more than paying a higher levy. Even worse, my kids will retain less and spend even more time the following school year relearning things they learned the previous year.
In defense of the change, however, one thing to remember is that although 10 days of instructional time were cut, the remaining school days will be longer and actual instructional time in the classroom remains the same.
But more people than I need to weigh in on this important issue. Do you approve of the board’s decision? Why or why not? If you don’t approve, where do you think they should cut instead?
Talk about it with your friends, your spouse, your kids. Then, when you’ve reached a conclusion that you’re comfortable with, we’d be thrilled if you would put pen to paper, or fingers to keyboard, and write us a letter, outlining your thoughts. While we generally limit letters to 300 words or fewer, those who have more points to make than 300 words allow, are welcome to submit a guest opinion for the paper. And, on the other end of the spectrum, those who really just want to make one point and get on with their day are welcome to mail or email comments or simply post on our Facebook page or website.
We ask only that you bear in mind the golden rule for writing opinion, which is to attack the idea, not the person.
Later this month, we will post all your letters, comments and opinion columns on our first official Readers Opinion Page. We hope, in fact, that there will be so many submissions that we’ll have to extend the opinion section to two pages.
Then next month, we’ll do it all over again, but dealing with a different hot button issue.
Ideally, it will be one that the readers suggest.
Email your thoughts on the shorter school year to email@example.com, fax 218-879-2078 or mail letters to Pine Journal Editor, 122 Avenue C, Cloquet, MN 55720. Better yet, stop in and visit with us when you bring your letter.