That pair of questions actually came out of my mouth the other day when my girl used the phrase. For those not familiar, I'm about to learn ya.
When used by the Salem-Keizer School District, a Furlow Day is a day used to ease the financial pain of maintaining a full school year in order to remain cost effective and still provide education for the kids.
I'm told that these happen fairly often.
I believe that teachers should be paid an amazing salary (They aren't, btw.) because they work directly with our children. Our children are our future. Plain and simple. When the Old Boys (and girls) die off, retire, whatever, our children are the ones that will be taking over the world. Literally. I firmly believe that if you work directly with the kids, you deserve exceptional amounts of money.
That said, it's my thought that the school board is vastly overpaid. If the teachers aren't getting paid what they deserve (at least in my opinion) and they still can't afford to keep the schools open every day they're supposed to, there's a HUGE issue.
What could these issues be?
Lack of funding? It better not be. Our taxes increase yearly. If our money is being funneled elsewhere, that's entirely garbage. It's also likely true.
Increased overhead? I might buy into this one. With rising energy costs, and so many schools to accommodate a breeding explosion comparable only to a virus (Thanks Agent Smith for that metaphor), along with the cost of supplies, textbooks, and things of that nature, I could see this being a legitimate complaint.
The school board is paid EXORBITANT salaries, and gigantic bonuses on top of that? DING DING! I think we have a winner. Yes, these people earn their money by dictating what our kids learn, how often they learn it, and make decisions regarding the safety and education of our children. I believe this is a service worth paying for, but not even close to the extent we're paying now.
So what are our options as parents?
We can embrace this (in my opinion) negative change and enjoy the extra time we get to spend with our children. Not the worst idea ever, despite my opinion, because every second I get to spend with Cyris and Ninja is precious to me. Especially with Cy, whom I rarely get to see.
Deprive our children of the social aspect of school and teach them ourselves at home. I do like this idea because of the time we get to spend with the kids, but as I mentioned, it does deprive them of the social aspect of school, which is almost as important as the curriculum itself.
We can do some social engineering, demand alteration of the school board's collective salary, remove the ability to grant themselves bonuses at a whim..
Either way we go as parents, I think we might be kinda screwed. Your thoughts?