Reducing School Days Met with Opposition

By: Ashley Conroy Email
By: Ashley Conroy Email

"It's not perfect. To be honest, I hate that I even have to be talking about something like this with you," said Education Chair, Sen. Videt Carmichael of Meridian.

Teachers could also see furloughs with this legislation to save the state and individual school districts money.

Chairman of Education for the House of Representatives, Cecil Brown, says the House will strongly consider the furloughs, but will probably bypass cutting days.

"I think it's unfortunate that something like this has to happen. It's inevitable, but I think it's better to be furloughed than lose your job," Brown said.

Sen. David Blount is among those who strongly disagree with this approach, saying it sends the wrong message.

"But the last thing we should do is cut the number of days our children go to school," Blunt said.

Meanwhile, State Superintendent, Dr. Tom Burnham, released a statement Thursday.

"I cannot support reducing the number of instructional days in any way," Burnham said. "Research shows that the two most important factors in student achievement are the quality of the teacher in the classroom and time on task. Mississippi is at or near the bottom in a number of areas, including academic achievement and graduation rates."

Carmichael says eliminating a few extra days won't interfere with students' education.

"There's no way you can make me believe that 5 days over the whole year is going to make that much difference in student outcomes," said Carmichael.

The Senate voted to pass this legislation by a 39 to 8 margin.

The House still needs to review these amendments to determine if it will accept this proposal or not.

The bill initially started as House Bill 1170.


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