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Mornings suck. Even beautiful mornings like today's leave something to be desired when it comes to dragging your ass out of bed when the alarm

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Five Ideas to Save Seattle Schools Money Better Than Earlier Bus Pickup Times

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Mornings suck. Even beautiful mornings like today's leave something to be desired when it comes to dragging your ass out of bed when the alarm clock sounds. And for parents in the Seattle School District, mornings could potentially get a whole lot worse next fall if a proposal to cut costs by starting school up to an hour earlier - an idea currently being considered by the Seattle School Board - gains steam.

As the Seattle Times reports this morning, school-district staff members proposed the idea to the school board last week, noting that it could save the district $1 million next year by "reducing buses, streamlining routes and nearly doubling ride times," according to the paper. This would mean several middle schools, high schools and elementary schools could start up to an hour earlier, while several elementary schools could start up to an hour later.

Basically, it would muck everything up, according to most parents.

As the Times story notes:

The move is not final, but has already sparked outrage. More than 1,500 parents have signed an online petition against the plan, citing sleep deprivation, student safety and the strain put on parents with children at schools with vastly different start times. Several board members also said they oppose the proposal.

In response to the backlash, district staffers are scrambling to come up with other options. A list of alternatives is expected Friday.

As the Times points out, the scheme is a one-year plan concocted without public input and announced well after the Seattle schools open-enrollment period, which is a violation of district policy. School district officials, however, say they're in the uncomfortable position of having to choose between cutting transportation costs and further cutting classroom costs - with roughly $20 million in budget cuts already identified for next year. They tell the Times any cuts or changes to bus service are likely to upset some parents.

A decision from the School Board is anticipated by next week.

Given all of this, it seems fairly obvious the school board in need of some new, fresh ideas. And here at Seattle Weekly, we specialize in new and fresh ideas. Here are a few money-saving suggestions that could be implemented that are at least as good as forcing little Sally and Johnny to wake up at 5 a.m. to make it to kindergarten on time ...

BYOD

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What's the cheapest way to throw a killer party? Make it bring-your-own-booze. This way, you don't have to spend a crapload of money on beer and liquor for your good-for-nothing friends. It puts the onus on them. The same approach could be used with desks - which must cost the school district an arm and a leg. Think of all the cash that could be saved if Seattle Public Schools implemented a bring-your-own-desk approach.

The list of things to save the Seattle School District money better than earlier school-bus pickup times continues on the next page ...

Start School in the Middle of the Night

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Why not just go all the way? Sure, we could bump up school start times by an hour, or we could go big and bump start times up several hours - so class starts in the middle of the night. Then, once kids are done learning for the day (night), we could send them to work in school-district affiliated factories putting their tiny little fingers to use sewing the buttons on overcoats or prepping for the next district-wide bake sale. If kids never slept at all we could probably make some serious profits off the little hellions.

Parent Teachers

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It seems somewhat obvious that not much concern is being given to the already-difficult situation most parents are placed in - getting their children ready for school at the buttcrack of dawn before heading off to a demanding job of their own. Since giving parents the shaft doesn't seem to bother anyone, why not just require parents to teach classes instead of forking out all that money for "qualified' teachers? Talk about savings! Cha-ching!

The list of things to save the Seattle School District money better than earlier school-bus pickup times continues on the next page ...

Don't Feed the Kids

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Do Sally and Johnny really need a meal in the middle of the day? Might they take school just a little more seriously with the alertness that comes from extreme hunger?

Farm Out Disruptive Kids as Street-Corner Sign Holders

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Every classroom has a class clown - a disruptive little shit that makes it more difficult for the other kids to learn and is heading for a career in the service industry any way you cut it. Why not just stop the charade and contract these kids out with local tax-preparation operations, going-out-of-business liquidators and Little Caesar's pizza joints to fill the seeming endless need for costumed street-corner sign twirlers? If the idea brings in enough money maybe kids won't have to bring their own desk from home anymore.

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