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As I See It

Retain minimum school requirements



In Wisconsin, when winter weather closes schools, those lost days need to be made up. Typically at the end of the year, when students thoughts are turning to summer fun. That could be a thing of the past under legislation being considered by lawmakers in Madison. A new proposal tucked into Governor Walker’s budget proposal could make makeup days a thing of the past. The proposal calls for eliminating the current requirement that school districts provide a minimum amount of instruction. It used to be 180 days comprised a school year. Recently, that minimum standard was changed to hours, at least 1050 hours for students in grades one through six. Walker wants to do away with the minimum requirement altogether. That would make it easier for schools to deal with snow days. But it would also have unintended consequences. Without a minimum amount of time in the classroom, smaller school districts, perhaps struggling with staffing and budget issues, could simply adopt a four day school week. Without minimums, the playing field would no longer be level among Wisconsin’s school districts. Reducing hours spent in the classroom could end up hurting scores on standardized tests. A better idea would be to adopt a proposal being considered in Minnesota which would have kids learn from home on snow days. At least that way their nose would still be in the book, not the video game.

Scott Robert Shaw serves as WIZM Program Director and News Director, and delivers the morning news on WKTY, Z-93 and 95.7 The Rock. Scott has been at Mid-West Family La Crosse since 1989, and authors Wisconsin's only daily radio editorial, "As I See It" heard on WIZM each weekday morning and afternoon.

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