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Fuel Conservation Closes Schools

| 6 Comments

Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue asked schools in his state to close for two days last week in an effort to conserve 450,000 gallons of diesel fuel. All but three of the state's 180 school districts heeded the request.

One district that stayed open said it had already implemented fuel efficiency measures and that students were happy that schools stayed open.

Did those districts make the right decision? Or should they have rejected the governor's request? What are some other ways districts across the country can address rising energy costs?

6 Comments

Closing schools to conserve fuel is not a viable solution. The amount of lost instructional time, not to mention wages, and energy lost in buildings that have to remain open, will not justify the savings. What happened in Georgia is just a peek at what will happen in school districts across the country, this winter, if plans aren't implemented now. Distance Learning, AM/PM classes, car pools, converting to bio (grease) diesel, a rainy day fuel fund, and asking parents for help, are just a few alternatives that need further examination today, rather than waiting until it's too late.

Definitely was not a decision in the best interest of Georgia students!! A great majority of GA schools already have a fall break and these 2 days intruded further into consistent instructional time! Students most affected by this decision were those who need as many instruction days as possible: special education students and ESOL. Also, a majority of buses contain less than 1/2 a full load; why not instead construct a more efficient masterplan for transporting students with the least amount of waste! George Bush may have praised Sonny but most Georgians were not impressed with this spur of the moment decision.

Similar to the previous respondents, I don't think that closing schools was the best option. As a supporter of the Children's Defense Fund, I often hear commentary about decisions (i.e. balancing the budget through cuts to education) by politicians supported on the backs of those often least enfranchised -- children and the poor. It is unfortunate that my Governor made the same decision -- sacrificing the education of our children to save money. Although Georgia may have saved money, it'll be interesting to see whether there are any spikes in vandalism, crime, pregnancy, etc. due to the loss of structure, guidance and meaningful instruction during these days. Additionally, some parents/guardians lack the financial and social resources to provide this support to their child(ren) without sufficient notice.

Public schools should stay open and fulfill their purpose. If money is running low, for whatever reason, the schools must, still, stay open. If the armed forces run short of fuel money, should the soldiers stay indoors two days per week? Similarly, should hospital ER services.......well, you get my message. For all of my career in teaching, the public was told over and over how important schooling was to the maintenance and improvement of society. So, when the fuel runs short we close the schools? I think not!

First, take away the top-of-the-line guzzler SUVs that are the "perks" of elected and appointed officials. When every politician has to call a cab or drive him/herself to an appointment or daily work, THEN and ONLY THEN shall "essential services" like defense, health, and education be cut. Since the politicians will NEVER give up their "perks", the schools, in my scenario, would remain open!

I think the governor made a courageous decision. He would have been called to task if there had been state wide fuel shortages also. He was in a 'no win' situation. We have already compacted the curriculum and made up for the additional two days out of school. Focused, hard work during the following school week allowed us to do that. Gov. Perdue was trying to be proactive and help the situation.

It appears, that in a subsequent news article, that the decision to close the schools, was based on a political/economic desire to insure that enough diesel fuel was available, for farmers to get their crops in, without spiking fuel costs.

Comments are now closed for this post.

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Recent Comments

  • Garnett Arnold: It appears, that in a subsequent news article, that the read more
  • Ms. Brown: I think the governor made a courageous decision. He would read more
  • Parent and Retired Teacher: Public schools should stay open and fulfill their purpose. If read more
  • Ms. Leemore: Similar to the previous respondents, I don't think that closing read more
  • Dr. Jones: Definitely was not a decision in the best interest of read more

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