Editor's Note: On February 6, we asked BlueOregon readers to suggest progressive ideas that the next Oregon Legislature should enact. Over the next several weeks, we'll post some of these ideas here - and ask you to discuss them. Good idea? Bad idea? Any suggestions?
From Jenni Simonis:
Increase the length of the school day
I think the legislature should look seriously at increasing the length of the school day. The current school day in Oregon is too short. Combined with a shortened school year, it's no wonder that our students aren't learning enough.
You can increase the length of the school day with minimal inpact on your budget-- you don't add on any more to/from school bus trips, no extra cafeteria shifts, no extra lesson plans for teachers, etc. You could probably even get the majority of the staff to work without extra pay-- they'd end up taking less work home each night, they'd get to spend more time on lessons and with their students, etc. You would need to pay the hourly employees like secretaries, though.
Almost everyone I talk to who comes to Oregon from other states are shocked at how short the school day is here. Based on Gresham Barlow, I went to school more than an hour more than the students do in this district.
[If you have your own original progressive idea to propose, do it here: "There oughta be a law."]