Good points and good questions from our lawmakers in Columbia.
School districts that want to waive makeup days because of the disruption Hurricane Florence brought to the schools' calendars are making some lawmakers question the need for a 180-day school year. And that's from both sides of the aisle.
Edgefield Republican state Sen. Shane Massey laid it out rather succinctly: "If they can forgive three weeks of school and still get all the education that they need, then we don't need to have a 180-day calendar."
Democrat Brad Hutto of Orangeburg chimed in: "If these students don't need that many days in school, then we are spending a lot of extra money on education that we could channel somewhere else."
Public school officials are, understandably, frustrated with Columbia when it comes to funding. They can get in line with municipalities who are decrying the lack of local funding that has long been promised. But they do send a mixed message when they try to opt out of doing their part to ensure a full year of classroom learning.
Sure, makeup days can create some havoc, but so do the storms that cause the need for makeup days. If you noticed, when bad weather struck during the football season, games were moved, not forgiven. Is classroom time not as important? More important? We would like to believe that it is.
As bad as things were as a result of Hurricane Florence, this was not a cataclysmic disaster. Disaster struck some harder than others. Then came cleanup time. Then came the opportunity to return to as normal a life as feasible.
Now comes a time to sacrifice and ensure our state's children are getting what the taxpayers have paid for. Take the allotted days that can be forgiven and take care of the rest.
Minimally adequate? Largely, we are not even there in this state. So to shortchange many students a full year's education is less than adequate.
This editorial is from the Index-Journal of Greenwood via The Associated Press.