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February 24, 2010

Debt: Cutting 12th Grade

Yesterday we went to IHOP for FREE pancakes. It was a special that IHOP had yesterday and they were yummy! We met up with another homeschool family. After our free pancakes we decided to take the kids to BK (burger king) to play in the indoor play structure. We both got a coffee while at BK.

We sat and enjoyed our coffee as the kids play. In all honestly we were killing time before our co-op started. Our co-op started at 10 and it was 8:30 in the morning. So we had some time to kill. Yes we were at IHOP very early, but that was because we were afraid if we came later the wait would have been too long and we would have been late for our co-op.

We and another lady with her young child were the only people in the BK play area. Toward the end of our visit the other lady started to talk to us and ask if we heard the news about IL and UT wanting to cut the 12th grade because of the state debt.

We said no. She didn't have any real specifics to share with us other then she "heard" it on the news and that she "heard" that IL was looking to pass the bill later this month. She said that "they" wanted to get rid of the 12th grade to help balance the budget. Well anyone that is somewhat aware of Illinois politics and Illinois debt should not be surprise.

I did some Google searching yesterday when I came home. I could not find anything regarding IL, but found that in UT there is senator proposing that 12th grade be cut. Actually that was his original proposal but it wasn't getting the support he needed for it so he is now proposing that 12 grade be totally optional and that if a 11th grader has the credits they should be allow to graduate.

Many argue that in UT there is already that option, so I guess the senator is saying he would like to see more of a push to encourage the kids to graduate by the 11th grade. I could NOT find anything about IL wanting to do the same thing.

I know that Illinois budget is a mess, the state has no money, and things aren't going to improve any time soon. I know that state parks have been closed and that the state of IL owes each school district MILLIONS of dollars! The schools know they aren't going to see this money so they are making serious cuts. 

We have several local school districts here and I know the state owes the one local school district alone 12 million dollars! So it wouldn't surprise if the state of IL is really looking to cut its education expense by either getting rid of the 12th grade or HIGHLY, HIGHLY encouraging high schoolers to graduate early!

I don't know if cutting 12th grade is the answer to the debt, but I find it interesting that there are law makers that feel it is. What about head start programs? What about funding day (child) cares? I understand the need to make cuts and believe me I know the value of those programs, but I'm thinking that if cuts have to be made perhaps those early education programs should be the first to go?  Just a thought......

4 comments:

  1. This is the first I've heard of it. Wow. I am sending this latest development to my husband to read.

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  2. Wow...that's interesting.
    I wonder what made the choose 12th grade...and not all day Kindergarten or pre-school or some other added but not necessary feature of the school system?

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  3. I agree that they should cut the head start and day care programs, or Kindergarten. It has always seemed unfair that some people get free childcare that has to be funded by the rest of us. I am not going to discourage these people from having children, but I think that if they can not truly afford childcare then they should have considered if they were truly ready for marriage and a family. They also should consider how to live a more thrifty life so these children are a priority instead seeing them as a financial problem. As one who has used Virginia's Head start program, I think I would have been better off without it! The "services" were not worth my effort and I saw NO CHANGE after 3 years in the program.
    As for cutting 12th grade, I don't think it would matter. For the most part, I see the public schools as teaching children how to pass a standardized test and not preparing them for real life. If they really wanted to help, they would bring back home ed & vocational schools. For some reason our educational system in the US assumes that ALL people need to go to college. I wonder where they think our mechanics, hair dressers, cabinet makers, plumbers, electricians etc. come from?

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  4. We live downstate, and our local school district is owed millions of dollars by the State of IL as well. And there is no talk here of making 12th grade optional. Pre-K programs are being cut and staff cuts are being made (so class sizes will rise).

    I just wonder how long it's going to take our state to shape up and solve the budget mess. Because our community is feeling failed by the state government on multiple levels.

    - Julia at Midwest Moms

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