Lars Larson: Agreeing with Obama on the school year

I disagree with just about everything Barack Obama is doing””the way he’s handling Afghanistan, health care, taxes, global warming””the whole nine yards. But yesterday I discovered something the President is doing that I agree with, and I mean this seriously.

The President says kids ought to be in school more and I couldn’t agree with him more. The fact is it was always nice to have ninety days off in the summertime. But, whether it’s adults or kids, if you stop doing something for three or four months every year, you fall out of practice. That includes study habits and school.

I know it’s nice for the teachers to be off for three months every year and generous vacations the rest of the year, but we should have kids in school for most of the year. Short breaks are fine. They’ve even healthy. But three months off? That makes no sense.

Obama, I agree with you on that.

“For more Lars click here”

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Posted by at 05:00 | Posted in Measure 37 | 34 Comments |Email This Post Email This Post |Print This Post Print This Post
  • Warren

    I agree. We are no longer an agrarian society. Children do not need to be in the fields during the Summer and for harvest. Teachers make a decent living and don’t need to have the summer off to work at temp jobs just to make ends meet. I like the idea of trimesters which includes three reasonable breaks rather than the one long one and several short ones.

  • eagle eye

    And I take it that Lars Larson is in favor of higher taxes to pay for the longer school year?

    • Rupert in Springfield

      So you are admitting teachers now only work part time?

      Uh Oh.

      The way I see it, a lot of teachers average their salery out over the full year rather than just during the school year.

      Any suggestion that they really work part time, since they get so much time off is met with shrill tones to the contrary.

      Teachers want to be thought of as full time? Fine, let them work the full year at current pay.

      Cry me a river over teachers saleries, they get paid plenty.

      • eagle eye

        Duh, they have summers off, more or less. This is a revelation?

        “let them work the full year at current pay.”

        Right, and let the Easter bunny bring me a 50 carat diamond for my birthday.

        • Rupert in Springfield

          >Duh, they have summers off, more or less. This is a revelation?

          Nope, never claimed it was. In fact I have always been pretty consistant that considering the hours worked over the course of a year, teaching is essentially a part time job with full time pay. The revelation is in you finally admitting it!

          Welcome aboard.

          • eagle eye

            Helllooo! Don’t put words in my mouth. I never “admitted” any such thing, teaching a part time job with full time pay. You may think it’s a revelation that teachers (sort of) have the summers off. Well, it’s not.

            By the way, I know someone who taught in your great Springfield schools. She quit, because the great kids you have raised there were driving her nuts. It wasn’t a “part-time” job, either, lots of work every night. The “summers off” were not nearly enough to recover her sanity. She took a job in business, much easier work, better pay, never regretted the change.

            If you think the teachers are going to work all summer for nothing, you must be hanging out on Main Street too much.

    • Anonymous

      teachers work a full year. many teach summer school. many are required to use the time to take continuing education. and teachers get a paycheck each month. also, teachers are already highly compensated. i have no issue making teachers work more hours for less pay.

      disclosure: i am a government employee subject to furloughs. i am ok with it. we have a budget crisis and i am lucky to have a job.

  • Oregonian

    Agreed, Lars. Kidz don’t know shit.

  • Joanne Rigutto

    I agree with Eagle Eye on this. If you’re going to require someone to work 3-4 extra months, you’re going to have to pay them more. It’s just that simple. It makes no difference that some get their pay averaged over the full year. The money they’re being paid is for 8-9 month’s work, not 12. If you want them to work 12, they need to be paid for 12.

    • TIIN

      Lars isn’t calling for more hours in the classroom, just shorter breaks. The overall bill stays the same since the kids should be done with schooling earlier.

      • eagle eye

        He’s not calling for more hours in the classroom?

        He’s calling for a shorter school day?

        I must have missed that part of the article.

  • Rupert in Springfield

    >The money they’re being paid is for 8-9 month’s work, not 12.

    I agree with that. However whenever you bring this up to a teacher, that they are being paid quite well considering the time involved, then all of a sudden they arent so crazy about you dividing their pay by the hours worked. All of a sudden at that point, they want to start talking about it being averaged over the year.

    The argument that you would have to pay them more makes sense initially, but not when you consider that teachers have insisted they are full time employees. Fine, let them work year round if they are full time. Either that or drop the nonsense that they are full time and actually are seasonal.

    • v person

      9-10 months is more than “seasonal” Rupert. By my calendar it is 3 full seasons.

      But if the proposal does not any school days, then there is no issue on adding pay. Its just a matter of stretching those days out across a calendar year with different break periods all adding up to the same thing. So I’m not even sure what Lars is agreeing with in the first place. A schedule change? Whoop-de-doo. Next he will agree with Obama that the sky is blue.

      • Rupert in Springfield

        >But if the proposal does not any school days, then there is no issue on adding pay.

        Well, I don’t think its an issue of adding pay either way.

        Teachers get paid what by any measure is a pretty good salary for a full time job. Maybe its time they actually put the hours in the classroom consummate with they pay they get.

        If they don’t like it, no problem, plenty of people waiting in the wings to take their jobs. Private school teachers get paid less in my experience. I’m sure more than a few would be first in line.

        >So I’m not even sure what Lars is agreeing with in the first place. A schedule change? Whoop-de-doo.

        Well, that’s because you didn’t read before responding. It’s right there in the second paragraph of the Lars post. Lars states it plain as day and yet you still have no idea why he agrees with BO.

        Since you missed it I guess I have to restate it – Lars was saying having this big long break in the summer results in having to spend a lot of time catching up when school comes back in session.

        Maybe you should spend more time reading what you are responding to before posting. Then you wouldn’t make flubs like this on such a consistent basis.

        • v person

          “Maybe you should spend more time reading what you are responding to before posting. Then you wouldn’t make flubs like this on such a consistent basis. ”

          After your performance yesterday Rupert, I would be cautious about ever casting that particular stone again. CEO income is limited to 1 million a year? Eeeks.

      • Anonymous

        Or less than one season in your case Dean. I love how your students described you as “rambling and boring.”

    • Anonymous

      Ever heard of opportunity costs Rupert? Many teachers supplement their income with “summer jobs” and/or attend graduate school for the purpose of renewing their licenses as well as furthering their professional development. If those teachers begin teaching year round… you do the math.

  • Moi

    Shouldn’t it be about the children and not the teachers? It seems like all they do is think about themselves when it comes to hours and pay.

    • Anonymous

      It should be about both children AND teachers. Why do people hate teachers so much?

  • Mary’s Opinion

    Do any of you commenting personally know any teachers well enough to discuss their pay with them? A teacher I know has her compensation for the school year spread over 12 payments. She has 5 years of college. She has taught many different classes that were not her speciality but she did so to keep her job. Her current and new job this year will require her by law to return to college for post graduate work (Very Expensive. She pays not the school dist.) to become certified for this position. Again, she took this position to keep her job. Her very poor rural Oregon school district has gone to a 4 day week because of funding shortages. You can not imagine the kind of families some of her students come from.

    • Marvin

      How should they pay her, all of it up front???

      • Mary’s Opinion

        Marvin, I was adding some information to the discussion not asking for a flip response. If you are gainfully employed, how do you receive your pay?

        • Marvin

          I get paid every week. I am in sales and earn most of my salary on commission. I earn about $30 – 40K a month.
          There is nothing wrong whatsoever with a teacher being paid once each month unless they are unable to budget.
          Maybe they are.
          So pay them once a week.
          That’ll help.
          Not being flip at all, by the way, just wondering how anyone could even make something so insignificant an “issue” for discussion.

  • joe jericho

    What a crock. You had your summers off, don’t deprive today’s kids of that. It’s a nice break from the indoctrination that is going on in Orygone public schools.

  • Bob Clark

    I don’t believe the premise you can actually know Obama’s position on much of anything, other than its usually for more government intrusion into private lives and businesses. For instance, Obama says he is for charter schools but then his administration helps close down charter schools in D.C in a nod to his union buds. Bottom line: Bama is a happy talking, bait and switch artist, and you really can’t take him at face value.

  • Anonymous

    Most teacher contracts include around 45 paid vacation/sick days off during the 9 months most work. And substitutes must be paid to fill in.

    There’s lots of thing that could make our publoic schools better but the parasitic teacher’s union obstructs them all.

    Let’s go back to 1973 when there was no teacher union in Oregon.

    • v person

      I hate to break it to you, but the OEA has been around since the 1850s. They did gain a lot of benefits in 1973, including collective bargaining rights, but they were organized way before then.

      If you want to get their collective bargaining rights repealed, well good luck with that one.

  • Jack

    Teachers must be paid more if they are to work more than the 172 days they now work. It must be done.
    They deserve it.
    They will not work a minute longer without more money and they should not.

  • ssilvercity

    Why this never ending war with the educational system, perhaps if true support and respect for education existed in this country ours lives would better! Teachers should make what Dr’s do if we had repect and support for the system.. We should have year around schools and much better payed professionals, we would all benefit!

  • Frank

    I think teachers should be paid more than doctors. The children our are future – your broken arm is not.

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