Letters to the Editor

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SCHOOLS: What about lost educational days?

Letter by Kimberly Yee, Edgewood on Jan. 30, 2012 at 2:03 pm with 11 Comments »
January 30, 2012 2:23 pm

Re: “Schools may avoid snow makeup days” (TNT, 1-30).

When the weather is so extreme that our local school districts see the need to close schools to protect our children and the people who work with them, are these people been paid for the “day off”?

When the missed day or days off school need to be made up, are the makeup days costing the districts more money? Are the districts asking for a shorter school year because of money or because they just do not want to potentially shorten their summer vacation?

What was never addressed in the article was what about the lost educational days? Our state mandates that our minimum school year of instruction is 180 days.

We already cheat our students by counting a half day or a late start as a full day. Should we not be worried about the missed education time our teachers have with these students?

We wonder why our students are not making the grade and our test scores are low. We are turning out undereducated students. We have lost our educational emphasis and instead care more about longer summer vacations, more long weekends and more “instructional” or “planning” days.

How about if we start caring more about actually teaching something than planning our summer vacations?

Leave a comment Comments → 11
  1. truthbusterguy says:

    You don’t get it. These decisions are made by the union not the school board or the school supt.

    When will we end union rule of our kids. I guess when all our kids are in the breadline because they can’t read and districts declare bankrupcy, we will admit the system is broken and we must have a talk with our union overlords.

    Don’t forget it was Gregeior that wanted to shorten the school year as a pay back to the WEA for pay cuts.


  2. Fibonacci says:

    Sorry, but the “union” does not make the decision as to when missed days for snow are made up. You hate them so much i would not be surprised if you thought the evil union caused the snow and ice so teachers could take a week off. Just so you know, I don’t work in a public school and don’t belong to any evil union, teachers or otherwise, but you have to get over this hatred of teachers man.

  3. alindasue says:

    Judging from the work my daughters bring home, I’d say they are getting a pretty good education.

    The letter says, “We already cheat our students by counting a half day or a late start as a full day.”

    Obviously, she has no children in the Tacoma school district, where half days have nearly been eliminated.

  4. ManuelMartini says:

    As usual, Gutbuster is completely out of the ballpark.

    All children will attend 180 days as required by law.

    Fib said – “You hate them so much i would not be surprised if you thought the evil union caused the snow and ice so teachers could take a week off.”

    Fib, you darned near quoted Dori Monson from KIRO. He and his “producer” were ranting about the teachers union during the snow. He also went sledding on a city street that was illegal.

    Anything to get one more looney to listen to him.

  5. ManuelMartini says:

    From Gutbuster’s own link:

    “The governor’s budget proposal reduces revenue to school districts”

    Yeah, the union would love that. Less revenue to pay teachers.

    You can’t make this stuff up, it’s too funny.

  6. taxedenoughintacoma says:


    Go have a private talk with a school board member. They are terrifed of the teacher unions and if they want a waiver for snow days they will get it. They saw what the teachers did to the state capital in Wisconsin and read this:


    Ever wonder why teachers are not respected any longer? I know parents that put on a happy face with the teacher and outside the class they really dislike and bad mouth them. Remember the teachers stike. Many do.

  7. bobcat1a says:

    Taxed, you are living in a wholly imagined world. Ideology is not reality; you need to spend some time in an actual school instead of depending on Fox. The schools would welcome your assistance.

  8. taxedenoughintacoma says:

    if you only knew how much time I spent in school. Wife a teacher for last 25 years. In the schools every three/four days, tutoring, mentoring, coaching, teacher aid and even dumping the trash. In the schools, I’m there.

  9. taxed? May I suggest then, that your wife be the first to take a drastic pay cut to the salary of a first year teacher? AND that you stay out of your wife’s classroom/ school doing all that you say you do? You cannot be such a hypocrite as to tout how teachers are overpaid and they underperform yet you go in and help your wife out and collect 25 years worth on the salary schedule of pay (Thanks to the Union) that she doesn’t deserve. She also needs to give up her benefits, and her pathetic 401plan. Then you would be credible. Can’t have it both ways.

  10. commoncents says:

    WAC 180-16-200 No agency filings affecting this section since 2003
    Total instructional hour requirement.
    (1)(a) Kindergarten total instructional hour requirement – four hundred fifty hours annual minimum. (See RCW 28A.150.220 (1)(a).)

    (b) Grades 1-12 total instructional hour requirement – district-wide annual average of one thousand hours. (See RCW 28A.150.220 (1)(b).) In grades one through twelve school districts may arrange their calendars in any way they determine as long as the district-wide annual average instructional hour requirement is at least one thousand hours.

    (2) The basic education program requirements shall be as described under RCW 28A.150.220(1).

    See – it’s not necessarily 180 days that’s the driver…it’s the 1000 hour requirement. The 180 days is actually in teachers contracts. 180 days @ 6 hours a day leaves wiggle room in some districts (not all) should a snow day occur and they choose not to make it up. OR make it up without paying the teachers for the snow day – ie the teachers don’t get an extra days pay.

  11. ManuelMartini says:

    taxed bites the hand that feeds him.

    Why am I not surprised?

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