Don’t Shortchange Washington State Students by Shortening the School Year

Target: Washington Superintendent of Public Instruction Randy Dorn

Goal: Don’t sacrifice education in Washington State by allowing school years to be shortened.

Schools in Washington State may be allowed to shorten the length of the school year in an effort to reduce school employee work loads. Studies show that reduced class days and longer summer vacations both contribute to significant learning loss. Washington schools must not sacrifice the education of our children by shortening the school year.

Teachers unions in Washington commonly attempt to negotiate for higher wages, but budgets are often unable to accommodate their demands. As an alternative solution, teachers are requesting shorter school years as a way to receive the same pay for less work. Unfortunately, this proposal will harm the one group that schools should be placing at top priority – the students.

Studies have shown that less classroom days decrease overall student learning, and increase the number of students being held back a grade. It has also been found that shorter school years correlate with a lower rate of secondary education. In addition, longer summer vacations contribute to a greater loss of learning between school years.

Teachers deserve great respect, and should be compensated sufficiently for the important role they play in our society. Their compensation should not come at a price for students, however. We must not defeat the entire purpose of our school system, which is to prepare students for a successful life through quality education. By signing the petition below, you can ask Superintendent of Public Instruction Randy Dorn not to allow waivers that shorten the school year for Washington students.


Dear Superintendent Dorn,

The recent proposal to shorten school years in Washington undermines what should be the highest priority in education – student learning. Studies have shown that shorter school years decrease student learning, as well as the likelihood of students pursuing secondary education. Shorter years are also associated with increased numbers of students being held back a grade. The consequences are clear. If schools are allowed to decrease school days, our students will suffer.

While teachers deserve to be paid well for their invaluable services, we must not do so at the cost of primary education. What point is there in maintaining our school systems if our children are not receiving the quality education they need to lead successful lives? Please protect student interests by denying Washington schools waivers that shorten school years.


[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: ywel via stock.xchng.

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One Comment

  1. Education is not the place to try to reduce a budget deficit, rather it makes it higher due to lack of productivity.

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