Here’s a Terrible Idea

JM Ashby
Written by JM Ashby

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.'

  • Christopher Foxx

    Supporters of the change say it would allow schools to be more innovative with instructional time

    So Walker can provide examples, actual real examples, of when a teacher was prevented from being innovative because they were required to actually provide instruction?

    Of course not. It’s just more obvious bullshit from a walking pile of crap.

  • Scopedog

    Oh yeah, this is a great idea….

    …Like eugenics.
    …Like filling the Hindenburg with hydrogen.
    …Like voting for Nader in 2000.

  • muselet

    It’s not absolutely the worst idea I’ve ever seen, but it’s certainly in the top 5.

    Oops. I spoke too soon. It’s number 1 with a bullet:

    Three years ago, lawmakers freed schools from having to meet for at least 180 days each year, something advocates said was needless because of the instructional hour mandate. Both the school boards association and a statewide virtual charter school group lobbied to lift the 180-day mandate.

    But eliminating the minimum hours requirement as well would make Wisconsin the only state without a mandate for minimum hours or days, according to a 2016 analysis by the Education Commission of the States, a nonpartisan group that tracks state policy.

    [link omitted]

    What the hell were you thinking, Wisconsinites, when you elected Scott Walker governor?


    • Christopher Foxx

      What the hell were you thinking, Wisconsinites, when you elected Scott Walker governor?

      Pretty much exactly what they were thinking when they voted for Trump: “I just want to fuck over the libtards! And I don’t believe you when you say Walker/Trump will hurt me.”

  • Aynwrong

    Red States now seem to be in the process of cannibalizing themselves. If you’re poor to lower middle class parents in such a state the best thing it seems for you to do is find a way into a Blue State.

    The Republican party that Trump supposedly took control of is still exactly the Republican party it was on Nov 7th. The only thing his voters did was encourage and empower cruelty such as this, which Trump voters are supposedly turned off by (They’re not). The party is not going to change him and he’s not going to change it.

    • Christopher Foxx

      Imagine what would happen if we tied how many Federal dollars states got to how much Federal tax they paid. A little proper phrasing in how you present it, and the idiots, I mean, conservatives and real Americans would be very much in favor of it.

      After all, they wouldn’t want to support them lazy “taker states” that mooch of the others like some welfare queen. So they’d support a law that said no state gets more than, say 110% of what they pay in.

      And they’d be equally in favor of making sure states get to keep their money. I mean, the “you know what to do with your money better then the guvmint in Washington” idea is accepted gospel. So they’d support a law that says every state has to get back at least 90% of what the pay in.

      And then we can sit back and watch the Blue states roll in the cash which the Red states find the vast majority of what they used to get has disappeared.

  • Badgerite

    They really are trying to destroy the public school system. Not because it doesn’t work. But because it does.

    • Draxiar


  • Dread_Pirate_Mathius

    Red Shirt 101: Destroying education means more future Republican voters.

    Red Shirt 102: A good education isn’t for “those” people.

    Red Shirt 103: Life begins at conceptions, and ends at birth.