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Tim Skubick: How will parents react to year-round schooling?

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LANSING, Mich. (WJBK) -

Let's see what parents do with this puppy.

Most parents contend they want the best education for their kids... except when that education might interfere in their personal family agendas.

Summer vacation may become a thing of the past if the governor and others create year-round schools.

Oh. Oh.

There goes eight weeks at the cottage up North.  Or eight weeks on the road touring the country. Or in the case of less fortunate kids, eight weeks at home playing on the computer.

The legislature seems eager to start a pilot program aimed at students in so-called at-risk schools.  At this juncture it's not mandatory but already educators and some lawmakers are eager to start.

Take Baldwin Superintendent Stiles Simmons. He told a house committee that his students forget a lot between June and September.  "It's really quite tragic," he laments as they return in the fall to re-learn what they forgot since June.  The experts contend this is a universal for many kids.

Year-round schools have been around for years where-by students are in class for nine weeks, off for three, back for nine, off for three and so on. However this never caught fire because many schools could not afford the air-conditioning to keep the kids cool when the temperature is roasting outside.  (Yes, that will eventually happen again.)

The governor wants to spend $2 million of your tax money to retro-fit those schools but other lawmakers argue the number should be $10 million.  They'll work it out.

But back to the "x" factor, the moms and dads. Critics contend that some parents figure the schools are a neat baby sitting service and if they are stuck with the kids for three weeks every two months what would they do?

Find expensive day-care? Bribe a relative to watch the urchins, or just give them the key to the house and hope they don't burn it down?

Lawmakers have not addressed those problems, but then they don't have to.  It's the local educators who'll have to confront this if year-run schools get the green light from Lansing.

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