From Robert Whitcomb’s “Digital Diary,’’ in GoLocal24.com
‘Rhode Island state Sen. Leonidas (sounds Shakespearean!) Raptakis has proposed having all Rhode Island public schools open after Labor Day because of late-summer heat in a state where few public schools are air-conditioned, and opening later in June, when, he says, the weather takes its time getting hot.
"Typically, the temperatures are much more bearable during June as opposed to late August and that is one reason why our kids should only be going back to school after Labor Day. It is virtually impossible for our children to properly learn during these intense heat conditions," he told GoLocalProv.
We need a comparative analysis of temperatures in mid to late June compared to late August and early September to see if he’s right. Opening later (in my youth public schools opened a day or two after Labor Day) would also certainly be good news for high school kids with summer jobs at Rhode Island’s many summer-based businesses, mostly along the coasts.
Raptakis’s remarks are a reminder of the huge income-based inequities in education. While most private school classrooms and many affluent-town public schools have air conditioning in all their classrooms, few public schools do around here. It’s mighty hard to learn in a room where it’s a humid 90 degrees. As global warming continues, I hope this basic inequity will be addressed. To read about the senator’s remarks, please hit this link.