Thursday, August 23, 2007

Hot Schools

Again today, St. Louis public schools sent kids home early because it was too hot (the heat index was over 100 before noon), and announced that schools won't even open tomorrow. That's three days this week that no one has been able to teach or learn anything other than how to sweat -- in the first week of school -- because 30% of city schools have no air conditioning.

Even the suburban school districts (like the one my daughter attends, where classes started on August 13th!!) are suffering from the heat and humidity. Kids are getting nauseous and dizzy on busses. Elementary schools aren't letting them go outside for recess. Sports teams and marching bands are calling off practices. Teachers are uncomfortable.

All of this is more evidence in favor of my argument that schools shouldn't start until after Labor Day. Revert to the Jerry Lewis Rule -- when you see him on the telethon, school starts in two days. Take these two weeks at the end of August and move them to the first two weeks of June, when average temperatures are 8-10 degrees cooler. You still get in the same number of days, but avoid the heat problems in August, not to mention the increased energy costs of trying to cool the school.

Of course, the administrators are nice and cool in their air-conditioned offices. Today on my KMOX show, I asked Deanna Anderson, assistant superintendent of St. Louis Public Schools, whether the district was considering moving the calendar schedule, and was surprised at how vehement she was that nothing needs to be changed. None of her arguments hold up logically -- listen for yourself.


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