Georgia Association of Educators promote 180 Day Initiative - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Georgia Association of Educators promote 180 Day Initiative

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The Georgia Association of Educators is pushing a 180 Day Initiative to extend the number of days students spend in school.

After losing millions of dollars in state budget cuts, many Georgia school districts were forced to cut back the number of days students spend in school. This was especially the case in low-income and rural areas.

Now, some educators are pushing state legislators to rethink the budget for the benefit of the students. Georgia Association of Educators (GAE) President Calvine Rollins says 16 school districts are in school for less than 180 days—some as little as 144 days. She says students need those additional days to reach academic success and compete with other schools around the state and country.

"Students need to be in the classroom, and teachers need to be in the classroom instructing students for one-hundred and eighty days in order for our students to be successful and achieve at the level that we know they are very capable of doing," says Rollins.

Webster County School District has a shorter school year, but the school days are longer to make up the difference. The Superintendent Janie Downer says she is pleased with the modified year and the students in her district continue to excel. She added that additional funding could be better spent on salaries, supplies and building expansions.   

GAE President Rollins hopes to gain support from legislators for the 180 Day Initiative. She also hopes funding can be pulled from another area of the budget so that residents don't see an increase in taxes.

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