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Can Year-round Schools Improve Education in Palm Beach County?
As a nation, our students rank far from the top in reading, science and math. Studies show that Americans are no longer competitive against the world's brightest students.
So then why are most of our nation's schools closed for the summer?
Year-round schools has been debated for decades, but it has gained momentum in recent years in Palm Beach, Broward and other Florida counties as a way to ease classroom overcrowding and improve academics.
Palm Beach County school officials have discussed experimenting with year-round schools as an option for students, but not a requirement. About a dozen schools in Florida, including Hallandale Elementary in Broward County, are on a non-traditional school calendar.
Nationwide, nearly 2.5 million public school students were in year-round education in 2008, up from about 1.5 million in 2000. Some experts estimate that more than five million students - roughly 10 percent of all children enrolled in American public schools - will be in year-round schools by next year.
Supporters of year-round schools argue that the 10-week summer break leads to learning loss among children, especially those from lower socioeconomic areas that often lack activities like summer reading programs and camps. Opponents say non-traditional school calendars are disruptive to family life, provide little or no academic benefit, and hinder learning that children often experience during summer breaks.
Both sides often point to non-conclusive research that supports their respective views.
Where do you stand on this? Do we need year-round education in Palm Beach County?
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