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Minimum Day; Maximum Punishment for Parents and Taxpayers

Updated on December 5, 2017
Mrs. Obvious profile image

Mrs. Obvious is a mother, wife, and mentor. She used to own her own groom shop called Puppy Love and was self-employed for nine years.

Minimum Days Punish Families; They're Already Short Enough!

So the school is having another minimum day. Why? Sometimes I think it's just to torture working parents. Another day that I have to get off of work early to pick up kids, or shuttle them off to daycare on a lunch break. If I had a boss at a real job, this would not go over very well. Fortunately for me, I am self-employed. Not that it makes this any easier. I am responsible for my shop. It is really hard to leave. As it is, I rarely get a real lunch anyway. But to have to spend any lunch I would get moving children around is not fun. In fact, it's really stressful.

What Are They Doing?

So, what do they do on these minimum days that is so important anyway? The school calendar will say its for staff development, or in-service days or some other code word that means they need to inconvenience parents for reasons that we just wouldn't like or understand. Can't they have meetings and trainings without going through the whole ritual of having the children come to school? I mean, it is actually easier for me to take a whole day off and watch my own children at home, or plan on sending them to daycare for the day, than have some weird short day schedule and interrupt my day at 12:30 for nothing more than a group teachers' meeting.

My personal frustration with minimum days isn't the only problem with this concept. What about all the money that is wasted on minimum days? The school buses still have to run twice a day even though the district isn't getting the regular number of hours with your children. This is a waste of gasoline and labor hours for paying the drivers. The cafeteria will still serve two meals to the children, breakfast and lunch, even though the kids get released soon after lunch. The support staff like janitors and yard duties still charge for their time. All of this taxpayers' money is wasted for what now? A teachers' meeting? A staff training? Don't most jobs require employee's to come in after regular hours for these kinds of things? Doesn't everyone go periodically for a special training on a Saturday? Oh, that's right, not teachers. That's why you should become a teacher. So that you can get out at the same time as your own children, never have to go to extra meetings outside of regular work time, and not have to pay for daycare all summer like the rest of us parents. (That's a whole other hub in the making).

Whose Fault is This?

Don't get me wrong, I love teachers and they are definitely underpaid. Its not their fault that the school system is the way it is. It's our fault, the taxpayer. No one is rocking the boat. We all just sit there and let them continue in wasteful and antiquated policies made by school board members and politicians. They talk down to us "unejamacated" parents even though we speak from common sense. They don't want to hear new, creative, money saving ideas. They just want to please politicians and force good test scores. Good test scores don't mean that your kid is learning. It just means the teacher is good at prepping the kids for testing.

That must be what they discuss at the meetings.

Teacher's Needs??

It has been pointed out to me in the past that teachers really do need minimum days because they have so much on their plate, and it helps them catch up. Another argument is that teachers work long days and minimum days take some of the pressure off. I mean, teachers have to get up early to be at their classroom before the kids arrive, teach all day (six hours) and then stay late to help tutor kids, go to meetings, or correct classwork and homework.

Well, we parents get up just as early or earlier to get the kids ready for school, plus ourselves ready for work. Then we work a full eight hours a day, and still have to take care of our kids after five pm. Not to mention helping the kids with their homework, assigned by the teachers, so they don't fall behind.

I'd say overall, parents have it harder than the teachers, and so I've taken the liberty of writing down a few suggestions for teachers and the school system in general.

1. Start the school day at a reasonable hour! Like 8:30 or 9am. We could all use a bit more sleep. It wouldn't hurt to start later and finish the school day later, you know, like closer to when parents get off work, wink, wink.

2. Instead of wasting all our time and money on minimum days, do your training on one Saturday a month. (You do get the entire summer off, so what's a Saturday here and there?).

3. Stop assigning homework! Kids hate it. Parents hate it. Teachers have to spend extra time correcting it. Just stop it!

Regardless of what it is school staff do on minimum days, the fact still remains that it is wasteful. There are no two ways around it, it's the truth. If they really need extra time to prep, or have a training, then by all means take the whole day. The buses won't have to run and the support staff can have a day off. The cafeteria won't have to spend money on two extra meals. And us parents don't have to stress about another short work day and can make other arrangements. Heck maybe we'll even take a vacation day and enjoy it with the kids. We could sure save the gas money it takes to drive all over town picking up kids. I'm sure the environment could benefit from this too.

Should schools have minimum days?

Should schools have minimum days?

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© 2009 Mrs. Obvious


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    • tamarawilhite profile image

      Tamara Wilhite 5 years ago from Fort Worth, Texas

      Part of the rise of the half day school day is catering to the public school unions. The school district gets federal money based on attendance taken at 10 AM. If they kick the kids out at 12 noon so teachers get seminars, time to grade papers without kids in class or simply a free afternoon, the school district still gets their money - regardless of the cost of additional childcare for parents or scheduling difficulties.

      We need to stop catering to teachers and have both the teachers and the kids in school 30+ hours a week (not including lunch, recess, breaks) and the increasing number of school holidays and half-days.

    • profile image

      Jessica Cazares 8 years ago

      I don't think the schools get paid if the kids take the whole day off, whereas they do get paid for half days. I know that they would rather my son come in tardy or leave early for an appointment, than not at all (and he's in Kindergarten going half day anyway). Maybe they figure they can get in half the day's teaching rather than not any at all. It does seem like a waste of money with all of those staff workers still getting paid (yard duty, bus drivers, cafeteria lunches). But i don't know how the system could be that they get paid on contract regardless of hours worked? seems like a waste though.

      It does suck to have to pick your kid up at 12:30, on lunch. I know, i do it Mon-Fri. It makes me late coming back to work, it makes me rushed, and sometimes...i don't even have a bite. I'm fortunate to have flexible employers, or i guess i wouldn't be working for them. I can see how it is hard for some less fortunate folks to find and keep a steady job, having more kids than myself, many without vehicles. Life aint easy. Love your writing, Dana.