Year Round Education
Imagine a child, on a hot summer day... no baseball, no swimming, no picnics or
amusement park rides. Instead of spending time doing all of the things kids like
to during summer vacations, this child, is attending school. Year round
education (YRE) has been around since 1904, with 3,000 schools and 2 million
students currently using the program (National Association). Students in year
round schools go to school the same 180 days that traditional schools attend. In

YRE, the summer vacation is eliminated, replacing it with shorter, more frequent
breaks. There is a number of ways the year round school can operate, including:

90/30, 45/15, and 60/20. The most popular of these calendars is the 45/15, where
the year is divided into 4 nine week terms, separated by 4 three week vacations
(National Association). YRE has been a debated issue in education almost since
it began. Supporters of YRE say this schedule improves the learning process. The
biggest debate, however, comes from the parents and teachers who believe there
are no proven studies that YRE helps the learning process at all. So, is year
round schooling a good choice for the education of your children? YRE will not
only hurt the education system, but it will create chaos for the lives of the
students attending and their families. Supporters of YRE believe year round
schools are more cost effective than traditional schools. With population in
some districts rising rapidly, YRE is said to reduce overcrowding of schools and
classrooms. In many cases, school calendars are changed in response to
population growth. By running schools all year, districts can pack in more
students and postpone building new schools (Endless Summer). Supporters of YRE
say that by staggering vacations and schedules, schools can increase capacity by

25-50 percent (Should Kids go). Supporters argue that the costs for the
transition form a traditional calendar to year round schools are modest compared
to the construction costs of new schools (Inger, Morton). However, those against

YRE feel that expenses will only be reduced temporarily. According to a "Year

Round Education Study" conducted by the Lewisville, Texas Independent School

District, "Findings of a year-long study concluded that there is no financial
benefit to operating a Single Track System. The system would cause a modest
increase in operational expenses without providing any instructional benefits"
(Time to Learn). In Iowa, the Carroll School Board found that the costs of the
district moving to a year round education system could range from $16,786 to
$32,412. Taylor Elementary School, in Cedar Rapids, spends more money according
to the classroom teachers that any other elementary school. Schools in Davenport
reported that the switch to YRE will cost an additional $36,000 in salaries,
$3000 per year for equipment, and supplies, and $22,300 as a one time expense
for teacher training. Plus, the move to YRE would also cost the district an
extra $92,626 to fully air condition the school building. In Des Moines, Moulten
schools spend about $80,000 annually for year round schooling. If YRE were
implemented, Indianola school districts would spend an additional $3,655 for
middle school and $5,000 for elementary school to pay for the additional
secretarial, administrative, and custodial time during the summer (Time to

Learn). Costs will not only be incurred with the schools, but also with the
state and with taxpayers. Cost savings for one of these groups may create cost
increases for the other (Naylor, Charlie). Contrary to what supporters of YRE
claim, there are definitely extra costs to implementing and maintaining a year
round education system. Supporters of YRE say that year round schools would
promote continuous learning. The belief is that students forget a lot of what
they learn while on long summer vacations. This is seen more in slower learning
students and for those who know English as their second language. It is also
thought that because students retain more when the learning process is
interrupted for only short periods of time, teachers in year round schools need
to spend less time reviewing pre-vacation material (Inger, Morton). Although
this seems true, opponents believe that there is research that needs to be
addressed. Mary Lee Smith and Gene V. Glass have done extensive research in year
round schools since 1974. In a study conducted by Smith and Glass, in a school
district in Colorado, the learning loss in the students was evaluated. They
found that although teachers in year round schools spent less time reviewing
pre-vacation material than teachers in traditional schools did, the actual
achievement differences were insignificant on tests designed specifically to
measure district objectives (Glass, Gene V). According to