Julie Aranibar votes against 9 a.m. lunch time for high schools in Manatee County, Florida

Congratulations to Julie Aranibar, a wise school board member who voted against early dismissals of students in Manatee County. For the past four years, this district has dismissed students two hours early every Wednesday.  Hours are extended the other four days. Merab-Michal Favorite of the Bradenton Times  reported high school students eat lunch at 9 a.m. on Wednesdays and some people say “the crunched schedule can sometimes mean less time to complete important tests.”

At a meeting on July 25, the school board voted 3-1 to continue this schedule, with Aranibar dissenting. Favorite included the following information in her article in the Bradenton Times:

 Several parents came forward claiming they liked early-outs because it allowed periods for other extracurricular activities and tutoring. However Aranibar pointed out that the shortened schedule negatively affects working-class parents, like waitresses, who can’t leave work when they make the most money at a specific time of the day.

“For parents who are involved and are able to make the arrangements, early outs can be a very good thing. For parents who work and are lower-wage earners, shortened days are a scheduling nightmare.”

In an earlier article,  Favorite gave the following summary of the scheduling issue:

On Wednesdays, elementary schools let out at 1:15 p.m., middle schools at 2:10 p.m. and high schools at 12:30 p.m. in order to give teachers more time for training and planning classes. However, opponents of the early dismissal point out that it is a hardship for working parents, a scheduling nightmare and a chance for kids to get into trouble.

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