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Published:May 23rd, 2008 07:00 EST
An Uproar In the Orange County, Florida Educational System

An Uproar In the Orange County, Florida Educational System

By Karen Raffaelo

Serious cut backs in Orange County schools will be affecting school start times. This may seem like an easy fix to the money problems Orange County public schools face, but those affected by the time changes aren’t taking kindly to them.

Starting next year, all Orange County middle schools will begin class at 7:30 a.m. and end at 2 p.m. All Orange County high schools will begin at 9:30 a.m. and end at 4 p.m. or later. This swap is being protested by the counties community.

A large turnout of more than hundred students and parents protested outside the Orange County public schools headquarters holding signs and chanting phrases like “Flip the switch,” “Time is more than money,” “Just say no to the swap.”  Parents and students argue that the swap will affect them in a bad way.

The time change will leave many middle school students unattended for longer time periods and make it a lot harder for high school student to get jobs or participate in after school activities.

While the protesters argue their points, the school board believes that the possible six million dollars that will be saved next year is worth it. The new start times will help the school board cut back on fuel, maintenance, labor, and business placement cost.

Although the vote was a close 3 to 4, the school board doesn’t seem to be changing their minds any time soon. The community will just have to continue to ask themselves what is the worth of an Orange County student, and are the cut backs on free education more valuable.