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Change in school year makes sense

March 5, 2013
Salem News

Several common-sense changes in state rules that often hobble rather than help public schools are being proposed by Ohio Gov. John Kasich. Among the most obvious improvements being sought involves how long students are in class each year.

Like many states, Ohio's standard for schools to be in session is expressed in days. The state requires a 182-day schedule of classes each year.

Especially during periods of bad weather, it can be difficult for some schools to comply with the rule.

Kasich proposes abandoning the 182-day yardstick and replacing it with requirements of 920 hours of class a year for elementary schools and 1,050 for high schools.

That actually is a more realistic way of scheduling. It allows schools more flexibility to meet the state rule, and to schedule classes in educationally efficient blocks of time.

Incredibly enough, there has been some opposition to the plan. For example, the Ohio Education Association doesn't like it.

Again, however, the idea just makes sense. Legislators should approve it.

If Ohio Gov. John Kasich's proposed severance tax on oil and gas production is not approved by state legislators, it will create a $201 million hole in the state budget, proponents of the idea point out.

On the other hand, if the tax is enacted, there is the possibility it will dampen industry enthusiasm for oil and gas drilling in the state. There are other states, after all, with massive deposits of gas and oil to be exploited.

Industry representatives hate the tax, for obvious reasons. But before making a decision on it, legislators should attempt to obtain unbiased information on whether enacting it could dampen enthusiasm for drilling in Ohio.

 
 

 

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