If Governor Scott Walker has his way, Wisconsin could soon be the only state in the nation that does not require schools to be in session for a minimum amount of days.
I don't think I need to spell out how terrible of an idea this is, but we'll get to that.
Walker's budget plan eliminates the state law that calls for public and private voucher schools to provide a minimum number of hours of instruction. It would also free virtual charter schools from having to ensure that teachers are available for direct pupil instruction for a minimum number of hours each year.
Supporters of the change say it would allow schools to be more innovative with instructional time and that state report cards would hold them accountable for outcomes such as student attendance, achievement, academic improvement and graduation rates.
The idea that the system will police and regulate itself is insanity. But that's almost beside the point.
Educators may or may not have the best intentions but, at the end of the day, they're all at the mercy of the budget and Scott Walker has made a name for himself by cutting education. If you tell schools that they aren't required to provide instruction for a minimum amount of hours, hours and maybe even entire days will be cut to save money. Well-funded school systems that are already doing well could continue to prosper while underfunded systems cut hours and days to keep the doors open.
The implications seem so obvious to me it practically screams unconstitutional. This is a violation of the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment waiting to happen.
Scott Walker apparently glanced at what Sam Brownback has done to education in Kansas and said 'hold my beer.'