Hendricks County Flyer, Avon, IN

Commentary

February 4, 2013

Letters to the Editor Feb. 5, 2013

To the Editor:

Sixty-two percent of Indiana school districts called two-hour delays last Friday during which time teachers' salaries and utilities were being paid while students and teachers waited at home for travel to become safe.

Calculated at $7 per student per hour, $8,037,540 was wasted that morning that was intended to be spent educating students. The total cost of delays this year adds up to $31,657,843. This money was wasted.

Are school delays necessary? No! Illinois doesn't permit delays.

Dark mornings of Eastern Time's sunlight schedule forces Indiana to play a numbers game that is undermining education and wasting millions of tax dollars. Here's how it works:

1) Schools are required to conduct 180 days of education.

2) Morning sunlight, which burns off fog and makes road surfaces safe, arrives late in Indiana due to Eastern Time's sunlight schedule.

3) To meet the 180 school day requirement, the solution has been to allow two-hour delays and count them as a whole day of school.

4) The sham of this game is:

a) Delays waste millions of tax dollars intended to be spent on education.

b) Delay days are mock education days. Ask any teacher how effective learning is when each class is cut by 20 minutes and the students are hyper because their entire schedule has been fast-forwarded and totally rearranged. Classes requiring a block of time can't be conducted - tests, labs, physical education - so the after effects carry into the next day.

The math is simple and consider: every five delays for a district is the equivalent of one week of education lost. Are school delays undermining education? Isn't this a "duh" question?

On Indiana's original and geographically correct Central Time Zone, the sun would rise one hour earlier and school delays could be eliminated or, at the least, restricted to one-hour.

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