Letter: Here’s one vote against four-day week

The dumbing of America seems to be gaining continuing inertia with Meeker wanting to willingly become a contributor and commit our future generals of School District RE-1 graduates entry to a global world equipped with provincial tools.
The district is considering going to a four-day school week to save dollars and not have to tighten short-term goals, which might include laying off personnel, all at the crippling expense of our attending youth. The world beyond Meeker’s city limits is very competitive and expansive and most assuredly all-consuming. You enter prepared on all fronts, committed but trained, and training begins at the earliest of ages.
How well I remember the last series of discussions as we tried to come back to the five-day week. There was no proof of dollar savings having been achieved by the district with their four-day experience. “Quality family life” was not a true dividend of the extra day — what really happened was confusion with family schedules trying to manage work schedules having an extra day with the kids to maintain. Students were found unable to manage their extra time positively. Learning and remembering were suddenly being weakened.
How well I remember at one of the community meetings where input to the discussion was requested by the chairperson when one of the then high school students stood up and gave his reason for keeping the four-day week: “I really would not like to go back to the five-day week because I would not have time to work to pay off my truck and change my own motor oil.”
A couple more points I’d like to make. The first being that it might be appropriate that the issue made the front page during the time of the Olympics. Ask any one of those athletes if preparation to compete for the gold would even be considered on a lesser focus than 24/7 for four years. And their event is only five or 10 minutes of their life, not a lifetime as a student has to contemplate as he or she prepares in their school years.
The second point that really must be brought out into front discussion: Why did we the parents just pass a $24 million school bond issue for a new elementary school and upgrade our other levels. Did we do that so that we might close the door on a fifth day? Or did we do that because we realized that we could improve our youths’ chances to enter the world better equipped. I wonder why ExxonMobil gave the district almost $600,000 to install the latest and best in the new math and science classrooms. Surely they weren’t trying to fool us were they? Or we to accept falsely!
I shudder at how my taxes went up this year. Was I falsely led to believe that the increase was for new school buildings that are prepared to be closed on the fifth day?
I completely disagree with the position that your child’s and my grandchild’s future can be bartered for “employee’s paychecks and idle school buses.”
We must always prepare for the gold! And the gold is the prepared student, as fully prepared as we can possibly prepare.
Gus R. Halandras
Meeker