Monday, April 27, 2009

seattle votes to change school start times to 9:40...

Seattle recently voted to change the start times for some of its public elementary schools to 9:40 am in order to save on transportation costs by staggering bus schedules in order to reduce their fleet by 49 buses.

While this move will save approximately $2.2 million per year, which would be a significant help to Seattle Public Schools' $25 million budget gap for the 2009-2010 school year, I can't help but wonder who this change is really working for.

Considering the economic climate these days, I'm thinking that many two income families will find it difficult to ask their employers to accomodate a 10am start time in order to be able to get their kids to school. And many families will find it financially taxing to add on a before-school daycare cost.

Plus, numerous studies have shown that children at the elementary school age level perform better earlier in the mornings. And if we're truly working to create the most favorable learning environments for our kids, why is this not being taken into consideration?

I know that my kids don't attend the Seattle Public School system for elementary school yet (though they will for middle school), but I have to say that the learning conditions are not looking optimal. And while I'm lucky enough to have a choice as to where I send my kids to school, it seems criminal to not give our public schools the best possible foundation for learning.

If you'd like to sign a petition against this late start time, let me know by end of day Tuesday and I'll send your name on to my friend Sara who is organizing this petition. You'll need to add your school affiliation so you must be a Seattle parent. If your child doesn't attend Seattle Public Schools now, but you're considering sending them in the future, you can add your school affiliation as "Future Parent."


Oh, and as a side note, all the sand we used instead of salt on the snow and ice during this past winter's failed storm strategy has clogged up one of Seattle's larger sewer plants. But um, I guess this wasn't totally unexpected.

1 comment:

Becky said...

That is ridiculous! That's almost LUNCH time for Ben's school since they start at 7:45.