Thursday, April 16, 2015

Children Are More Than Economic Cogs

The battle over start date for Sioux Falls will continue despite the recent vote.  This time it appears students are trying to get involved: (Keloland)
Some Sioux Falls students say they should have a say in the school calendar. A social media campaign is speaking out against the vote, which pushed the school start date to after Labor Day for the next three years. The group, called Let Students Decide, launched on Facebook on Tuesday. There is also a hashtag: #LetStudentsDecide. By Thursday afternoon, nearly 1,000 people Liked the Facebook page.
An interesting idea to try and hear from the voices of students.  This is not a post on if schools should or should not start after Labor Day.  There are benefits and negatives on both sides of the issue.  While some younger students may have a benefit from starting after Labor Day without much impact and there will be little impact by staying in school until June, high school students will actually pay a bigger price with impacts to AP testing, sports, and longer school burn-out as they wait to get out until June.  The ants in the pants will be at an extreme level for high school students.  

This is more about groups trying to decide issues impacting our youth based on what is good for their bottom line.  We are seeing more and more moves to make sure that decisions are not based on what is good for the child's growth and development, but instead it is based on what is good for the economy.

In the recent debate over the start date, the "Vote No" group was strongly supported by tourism groups.
Pankratz is a lobbyist for the Visitor Industry Alliance, a tourism advocacy group that spearheaded a failed ballot measure in 2006 that would have forced all schools in South Dakota to wait until September to start classes. 
The same group has supported later-start advocates in Sioux Falls. 
Are we to think that the Visitor Industry Alliance is really worried about what is best for the education of our children?  Come on, they are worried about if they can squeeze a few more dollars out for their businesses.  Businesses were some of the biggest supporters of the group that  changed the calendar:

The single biggest donation to either side, $2,600, came from the South Dakota Visitor Industry Alliance, which is affiliated with the South Dakota Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
The second biggest donation, $2,500, came from a Sioux Falls water park...

Of all reporting, Voice in Local Control, raised the most, bringing in $8,739, and spending $3,889. Most of the money was spent on yard signs and other advertising efforts, McDonnel said.
The organization also received donations from Burger King, Culligan Sioux Falls, Lockwood Law office, plus more than $2,000 in individual donations and nonitemized contributions.

When you combine actions of businesses trying to dictate education policy for its own profit along with action being done to lower the minimum wage law because there is benefit in using children for less money and not for the convoluted "it will help them in the long run" excuses given, you can see an all out sacrifice of our children for the dollar.  

If your reasoning for supporting the Labor Day start was based solely on how it would improve the life of a child, then I am fine with that.  If your reasoning was to support it because it would allow more children to hang out and spend money at Wild Water West, then SHAME ON YOU!

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