Promoted from the Ricochet Member Feed by Editors Created with Sketch. Kamala Harris Proposes 10-Hour School Day

 

Democratic presidential candidate Kamala Harris is introducing a Senate bill to keep kids in school from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. The proposed goal is to align schedules between the average school day and workday. While this might be convenient for working parents, it would trap students in classrooms for 10 hours, five days a week.

The actual goal is something different: strengthening teachers’ unions, federalizing local schools, and further replacing the family with the state.

In a glowing profile, Mother Jones attempts to sell Harris’s plan:

The majority of schools days end around 3 p.m., two hours before the end of 70 percent of parents’ workdays. And most schools don’t have a way to make up the difference. Fewer than half of all elementary schools—and fewer than a third of low-income schools—offer after-school care. Beyond that misalignment, schools shut down, on average, for 29 days during the school year, the majority of which are reserved for professional development, parent-teacher conferences, and myriad vacations and minor holidays the federal government doesn’t recognize. That’s a full two weeks’ worth of days more than what the average American has in holidays, vacation, and paid leave combined. And then, of course, there’s summer vacation, a two- to three-month break that leaves working parents scrambling for day-long care.

The school day and calendar is a bad deal for children: In the absence of a better alternative, 3 percent of elementary-school students and 19 percent of middle-school students look after themselves from 3 to 6 p.m. on school nights. But it’s an equally bad deal for working parents—and the economy as a whole. A family paying out of pocket to cover child care for those two hours between the end of the school and workday costs an average of $6,600 dollars per year, or nearly 10 percent of an average family’s income. Almost 40 percent of all workers lack access to any paid vacation time, which means parents will often have to scale back their workday to accommodate child care duties.

In that case, why not eliminate half the holidays and cut summer vacation to a week? That way, unmotivated parents could be even less involved with their kids and focus on what’s really important: sending more tax dollars to Washington.

Published in Education, Elections
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There are 70 comments.

  1. James Hageman Coolidge

    Arbeit macht frei! Jawohl!

    • #1
    • November 6, 2019, at 7:19 AM PST
    • 6 likes
  2. SusanBurge ExJon

    I assume she’s never been in a room with a bunch of children for that long, even without having to maintain order and discipline.

    • #2
    • November 6, 2019, at 7:31 AM PST
    • 19 likes
  3. cdor Member

    Don’t know how I got the obviously erroneous impression that the education of children, especially K-12, was a State, County, and Municipal government/parent responsibility. Obviously, I must be wrong again. After all, no candidate running for President of the United States would venture to usurp that responsibility to the Federal government. It would just be too outrageous.

    • #3
    • November 6, 2019, at 7:36 AM PST
    • 21 likes
  4. colleenb Member

    One sort of doubts that anyone at Mother Jones either has kids or thinks they’re a good idea. Personally I don’t think Kamala Harris goes far enough. All children of all ages should be in a government facility from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Also, when did 3 to 6 p.m. become part of school nights?

    • #4
    • November 6, 2019, at 7:37 AM PST
    • 12 likes
  5. Vance Richards Member

    Jon Gabriel, Ed.: keep kids in school from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m

    So we would still have deal with them at night?

    If we can have Medicare for All, why not orphanages for all? Parents could visit if and when they find a time convenient for them.

    • #5
    • November 6, 2019, at 7:39 AM PST
    • 19 likes
  6. Front Seat Cat Member

    That’s too long for kids, but the Mother Jones quote has some good points. Way too many vacations and breaks – we never remember having that much time off. It seems there would be a market for plenty of affordable day care, or parents that are home earlier or work from home could work out a schedule where kids could have a safe place to go – neighbors solving this together? Advocating for more on site daycare? The YMCA? Churches? These were solutions in my day – and women choosing to stay at home or home-school. I get that two parents need to work to make ends meet, but it seems a workable problem.

    PS..I can’t believe she’s still in the race…

    • #6
    • November 6, 2019, at 7:40 AM PST
    • 6 likes
  7. Suspira Member

    Stay in your lane, Kamala. Gob-smackingly bad ideas are Liz Warren’s brand.

    • #7
    • November 6, 2019, at 7:46 AM PST
    • 17 likes
  8. Kozak Member

    Just think of all the Global Warming, Social Justice and all around Wokeness that can be indoctrinated, er “taught” to the little Comrades with that extra time…

    • #8
    • November 6, 2019, at 8:15 AM PST
    • 8 likes
  9. Randy Weivoda Moderator

    cdor (View Comment):

    Don’t know how I got the obviously erroneous impression that education of children, especially K-12, was a State, County, and Municipal, government/parent responsibility, but, obviously, I must be wrong again. After all, no candidate running for President of the United States would venture to usurp that responsibility to the Federal government. That would just be too outrageous.

    Indeed. Even setting aside the issue that federal education funding is probably unconstitutional, it’s just arrogance for someone to think that they have an idea that will work best for 330 million people. If various school districts want to try her proposed schedule, go for it. I don’t care. If some school districts want year-round schooling, or make the school year just 6 months long, it’s none of my business. But this is absolutely not an issue that should be decided at the federal level. 

    What next? What other decisions are we too stupid to make at the local level? Coke vs. Pepsi? There can only be one correct choice, so we need Washington to make it for us.

    • #9
    • November 6, 2019, at 8:20 AM PST
    • 13 likes
  10. Arahant Member

    Suspira (View Comment):

    Stay in your lane, Kamala. Gob-smackingly bad ideas are Liz Warren’s brand.

    I thought they were just generally the Democrat brand.

    • #10
    • November 6, 2019, at 8:45 AM PST
    • 10 likes
  11. The Great Adventure! Member

    Kids currently attend school for 5 hours per day. So we double that. It’s not like we’d have to double the personnel costs of teachers/administrators/aides or anything. Watching how schools operate now, it would require TRIPLING the personnel costs. But that’s not important. 

    It’s for the children!

    • #11
    • November 6, 2019, at 8:50 AM PST
    • 10 likes
  12. ctlaw Coolidge

    It would also kill off non-governmental extracurricular activities such as private music lessons, private sports, after-school religious instruction, after-school jobs for older kids…

    • #12
    • November 6, 2019, at 9:02 AM PST
    • 23 likes
  13. ctlaw Coolidge

    It would also kill off homework.

    • #13
    • November 6, 2019, at 9:03 AM PST
    • 12 likes
  14. Jeff Hawkins Coolidge

    Suspira (View Comment):

    Stay in your lane, Kamala. Gob-smackingly bad ideas are Liz Warren’s brand.

    It makes schools like prisons, this is exactly her lane

    • #14
    • November 6, 2019, at 9:04 AM PST
    • 18 likes
  15. Ralphie Member

    The worship of education as the means of solving all problems leads this bad idea. Children need less professional interference and more directly from their parents. There are tradeoffs, which are already evident by the college student lunacy from fairly sane parents.

    A. Lincoln said he went to school by littles and figures he had about 6 weeks formal education. 

    Christopher Lasch lamented the separation of children from parents all day (everyone gets up and goes in different directions) where the children miss valuable representation of adulthood from their parents, not idealized adults. Or something like that.

    Just read a good quote from Al Capp (L’il Abner cartoonist) “Any place that anyone can learn something useful from someone with experience is an educational institution.”

    • #15
    • November 6, 2019, at 9:22 AM PST
    • 8 likes
  16. Jeff Hawkins Coolidge

    The Great Adventure! (View Comment):

    Kids currently attend school for 5 hours per day. So we double that. It’s not like we’d have to double the personnel costs of teachers/administrators/aides or anything. Watching how schools operate now, it would require TRIPLING the personnel costs. But that’s not important.

    It’s for the children!

    More money for teachers to stay, more money for Federal lunch programs because we need to add a third meal, and no one learning the core elements.

    might need new facilities so students who can’t get a ride home can sleep

    turn schools into more of a government waste slush fund

    • #16
    • November 6, 2019, at 9:24 AM PST
    • 8 likes
  17. Western Chauvinist Member

    Busing and 10-hour school days. Every parent’s dream for their little ones. It’s why we have kids, isn’t it? To hand them over to the state? Some parents work weekends, too, you know. Why should government schools be limited to week days when there’s a need?

    It’s almost as if they hate us. As Klavan says, “we hate you. Now vote for us.”

    • #17
    • November 6, 2019, at 9:25 AM PST
    • 17 likes
  18. Vince Guerra Member

    The master plan: 

    • #18
    • November 6, 2019, at 9:53 AM PST
    • 17 likes
  19. JamesSalerno Coolidge

    colleenb (View Comment):

    One sort of doubts that anyone at Mother Jones either has kids or thinks they’re a good idea. Personally I don’t think Kamala Harris goes far enough. All children of all ages should be in a government facility from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Also, when did 3 to 6 p.m. become part of school nights?

    I’m pretty sure Kamala Harris does not have children. In my humble opinion, that should disqualify her from making public education policy and running for most offices in general.

    You need to have some stakes in the game. If you don’t have kids, why would you care about the future?

    • #19
    • November 6, 2019, at 9:57 AM PST
    • 5 likes
  20. Arahant Member

    JamesSalerno (View Comment):
    I’m pretty sure Kamala Harris does not have children.

    No, she does not. Her husband has two adult children, though.

    JamesSalerno (View Comment):
    If you don’t have kids, why would you care about the future?

    Maybe some folks are more historically-centered and care about the future for love of country?

    • #20
    • November 6, 2019, at 10:04 AM PST
    • 3 likes
  21. Jon Gabriel, Ed. Chief
    Jon Gabriel, Ed. Post author

    Vance Richards (View Comment):

    Jon Gabriel, Ed.: keep kids in school from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m

    So we would still have deal with them at night?

    If we can have Medicare for All, why not orphanages for all? Parents could visit if and when they find a time convenient for them.

    Hahahaha :)

    • #21
    • November 6, 2019, at 10:34 AM PST
    • 2 likes
  22. Juliana Member

    In our district there is school-age care, before and after school, from 6:00 am to 6:00 pm. We already have some children in the buildings for 12 hours a day, five days a week, breakfast, lunch and snacks provided. Often, when there are scheduled days off, be they holidays or professional development days, the school-age care runs all day. It is not cheap, and parents who cannot afford daily care will just drop off their kids on their way to work – sometimes 30 to 45 minutes early because they know there is someone in the building. Teachers do not work as school age care employees, but many of the caregivers are already employed by the district as paraprofessionals (their union is the SEIU).

    I’ve always been an advocate for year round school – but the models I’ve seen would not actually increase the number of school days. It’s generally six weeks on, two weeks off, and no school in July. It’s the teachers who usually put up the barriers for that type of model – they like their summers off.

    Overall, this is a local decision. That’s why there are elected school boards. The feds and state do not need to get involved.

    • #22
    • November 6, 2019, at 10:47 AM PST
    • 10 likes
  23. Jimmy Carter Member

    SusanBurge (View Comment):

    I assume she’s never been in a room with a bunch of children for that long, even without having to maintain order and discipline.

    Next will be mandatory Ritalin administered with every “free” school meal. 

    • #23
    • November 6, 2019, at 10:48 AM PST
    • 4 likes
  24. tigerlily Member

    Arahant (View Comment):

    JamesSalerno (View Comment):
    I’m pretty sure Kamala Harris does not have children.

    No, she does not. Her husband has two adult children, though.

    Plus she was the long term mistress to a married man with three children.

    • #24
    • November 6, 2019, at 10:57 AM PST
    • 4 likes
  25. aardo vozz Member

    I love the OP, but it is insufficiently cynical.

    • #25
    • November 6, 2019, at 11:02 AM PST
    • 7 likes
  26. Misthiocracy grudgingly Member

    Jon Gabriel, Ed.:

    In a glowing profile, Mother Jones attempts to sell Harris’s plan:

    The majority of schools days end around 3 p.m., two hours before the end of 70 percent of parents’ workdays. And most schools don’t have a way to make up the difference. Fewer than half of all elementary schools—and fewer than a third of low-income schools—offer after-school care. Beyond that misalignment, schools shut down, on average, for 29 days during the school year, the majority of which are reserved for professional development, parent-teacher conferences, and myriad vacations and minor holidays the federal government doesn’t recognize. That’s a full two weeks’ worth of days more than what the average American has in holidays, vacation, and paid leave combined. And then, of course, there’s summer vacation, a two- to three-month break that leaves working parents scrambling for day-long care.

    The school day and calendar is a bad deal for children: In the absence of a better alternative, 3 percent of elementary-school students and 19 percent of middle-school students look after themselves from 3 to 6 p.m. on school nights. But it’s an equally bad deal for working parents—and the economy as a whole. A family paying out of pocket to cover child care for those two hours between the end of the school and workday costs an average of $6,600 dollars per year, or nearly 10 percent of an average family’s income. Almost 40 percent of all workers lack access to any paid vacation time, which means parents will often have to scale back their workday to accommodate child care duties.

    It’s interesting that Mother Jones doesn’t instead advocate for reducing the work-day for parents. Reducing working hours used to be a big priority for the labor movement. Big Labor loves to crow that unions are to thank for the 40-hour work week, but now Mother Jones is saying that teachers get too much time off? When did Mother Jones become a shill for capitalists’ control over the workers?

    Hmm, here’s an interesting quote from the original Mother Jones: “Working men deserve a wage that allows women to stay home to care for their kids.”

    • #26
    • November 6, 2019, at 11:03 AM PST
    • 10 likes
  27. Misthiocracy grudgingly Member

    Jimmy Carter (View Comment):

    SusanBurge (View Comment):

    I assume she’s never been in a room with a bunch of children for that long, even without having to maintain order and discipline.

    Next will be mandatory Ritalin administered with every “free” school meal.

    Ritalin’s got a pretty bad reputation these days. She’s more likely to advocate for federal funding into the research and development of Soma.

    • #27
    • November 6, 2019, at 11:07 AM PST
    • 8 likes
  28. Misthiocracy grudgingly Member

    Juliana (View Comment):

    In our district there is school-age care, before and after school, from 6:00 am to 6:00 pm. We already have some children in the buildings for 12 hours a day, five days a week, breakfast, lunch and snacks provided. Often, when there are scheduled days off, be they holidays or professional development days, the school-age care runs all day. It is not cheap, and parents who cannot afford daily care will just drop off their kids on their way to work – sometimes 30 to 45 minutes early because they know there is someone in the building. Teachers do not work as school age care employees, but many of the caregivers are already employed by the district as paraprofessionals (their union is the SEIU).

    It’s almost like respecting the States’ jurisdiction over education works.

    (Oh wait, you made that point in the bit of the comment that I cut off. Some day I’ll learn to read an entire comment before adding my own two cents, but today is not that day.)

    • #28
    • November 6, 2019, at 11:08 AM PST
    • 5 likes
  29. Jimmy Carter Member

    Misthiocracy grudgingly (View Comment):

    Jimmy Carter (View Comment):

    SusanBurge (View Comment):

    I assume she’s never been in a room with a bunch of children for that long, even without having to maintain order and discipline.

    Next will be mandatory Ritalin administered with every “free” school meal.

    Ritalin’s got a pretty bad reputation these days. She’s more likely to advocate for federal funding into the research and development of Soma.

    So, Saturday school, too. 

    • #29
    • November 6, 2019, at 11:13 AM PST
    • 2 likes
  30. Misthiocracy grudgingly Member

    Vance Richards (View Comment):

    Jon Gabriel, Ed.: keep kids in school from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m

    So we would still have deal with them at night?

    If we can have Medicare for All, why not orphanages for all? Parents could visit if and when they find a time convenient for them.

    Once again stealing ideas from Aldous Huxley.

    • #30
    • November 6, 2019, at 11:14 AM PST
    • 7 likes