4-Day School Week: Weighing in the Pros and Cons

The concept of the 4-day school week is in play around the country.  Some school districts have made the change while some are in trial runs.  It sounds like a great idea.  But is it?

25% of US School Districts have in some way have switched to a shorter ‘work‘ week.  This could be a no brainer method to save money on building utilities, transportation costs and more.  As the saying goes, all clouds have a silver lining.  But does this silver lining have a cloud?

Let’s start with the Pros

  • Shorter week means more rest for students and staff
  • More restful students, teachers, and other staff means less stress = more productivity
  • Less need for transportation (less expense)
  • Decreases food costs
  • More time for students to study
  • The 5th day can be an option for teachers to take a class or schedule parent/teacher conferences

Continue reading 4-Day School Week: Weighing in the Pros and Cons

Classroom Size Reduction (CSR): Do smaller classrooms correlate to higher achievement?

Does classroom size reduction, (CSR) programs help students?

This topic has been highly analyzed and debated for decades; do smaller classrooms correlate to higher achievement? In reference to Schanzenbach, D. W. (2014), “Does Class Size Matter?”, it’s been stated that size DOES matter, especially with mid to lower-income students.  CSR has been associated with lowering the achievement gap in students.  It’s also been instrumental in recruiting efforts.  Teachers with a well-prepared plan will see better results in CSR. Continue reading Classroom Size Reduction (CSR): Do smaller classrooms correlate to higher achievement?

Cyber and Physical Security in Schools – What should you be thinking about?

The topic of school security is growing more visible nationwide and the pressure is mounting to implement viable solutions to cyber and physical threats.

If there’s room in the budget for a security solution, should you spread the funds between physical security options and cyber-security prevention?  Both areas are of massive importance.  No matter what or when you implement a security measure, in order for it to be effective and successful, there should be a process in place for thorough training to everyone involved.  The need to adhere to safety procedures is instrumental in avoiding a dangerous infringement to your entire districts’ records.  All processes need to be monitored. Continue reading Cyber and Physical Security in Schools – What should you be thinking about?

Student Poverty and Education

According to the National Center for Children Living in Poverty, about 15 million children in the United States today are living in poverty. Many of them are not getting the education that others in thriving cities and states are receiving.

Are poorer students getting less than stellar education?

It has been reported that in lower income neighborhoods, less privileged students receive less education due to being assigned underachieving teachers with lower expectations all around. Oftentimes, lower-income school districts do no receive their fare share and are just struggling to get the basic supplies. Funding to low-income schools has been dwindling since 2010 and more than a few states have cut pre-K educational per student funding in recent years and as a result are seeing lower enrollment numbers. Extremely poor school districts in struggling cities are forced to pull funds from other areas which further worsens the problem.

Another aspect that poorer students are faced with is the lack of funds to put towards field trips and after school or sport activities. Consider how much being exposed to new places and people have taught you things you otherwise would not have seen, touched, observed?

But the economy is improving

As the economy improves, school districts are still feeling tugs at their purse strings. Make no mistake about it, the economy is doing better, so why not put more focus on fixing our impoverished school districts and provide everyone the quality education they deserve?

Child Victim Act – What is this and will it affect my school district?

Child Victim Act, (CVA), was passed on Feb. 14th 2019.  Signed by Gov. Cuomo in NY State, it affects those New York school districts –  could your state follow ‘suit’?

The CVA was signed into law allowing alleged sexual assault victims to bring lawsuits (civil) until they turn 55 years old, previously was age 23.   The CVA provides a 1-year window to bring back old cases can expect to bring about lawsuits that were previously dormant due to the statute of limitations.

A victim, in a civil lawsuit, can claim their employer was negligent by turning a blind eye to the abuser’s actions.  School districts, churches, daycare centers are included in this pool and there is no cap on damages. Continue reading Child Victim Act – What is this and will it affect my school district?

Residence Fraud Costs More Than You Think

School Address Fraud in the U.S. 

As mentioned in the article in Fraud Magazine’s Aug. 2014 article, “Investigating Residency Fraud”, by Philip A. Becnel IV, address fraud affects those who rightfully pay taxes to attend these schools and are being forced out by those who do not belong there.

Fraud, Fraud Everywhere

Address fraud is prevalent throughout the U.S. but one area that experiences an extremely high percentage of this fraud is in District of Columbia.  The District has approximately 35,000 public charter school students where the tuition can be as high as $15,000 per student.  If only 1% of those students are non-residents, the financial impact on DC taxpayers would be more than $5 million a year.

From Philadelphia, PA to Beverly Hills, CA, there are those facing fines and jail time for misleading school districts into believing their utility bills and inaccurately filled out forms are viable pieces of address identification.  Some districts have gone as far as implementing anonymous tip lines with the promise of monetary rewards, should the perpetrator get caught.

There is the debate that the quality of education in lower socioeconomic neighborhoods need to be drastically improved, so there is no need for this address fraud exercise.  We are sure to hear more about this soon.

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