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 North Carolina Saving Money 
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I went home a week ago and decided to go visit the Elementary school that I work at. As I went in the janitor told me that the whole school was in the dark so that the state could save money. I noticed this myself when throughout the entire school the lights were off except the emergency lights that automatically stay on. I know that this is one of many things that different schools are experiencing so that the state can save money. I was wondering how you all felt about this type of situation and if anyone knew of anything else going on the the state's school systems?

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Danielle L Epley


Tue Feb 24, 2009 10:15 am
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I find it very interesting that the elementary school that you visited felt the need to resort to turning off the lights to save money. After reading your post I went to ncpublicschools.org and looked at the highlights for school funding, in this article it states that "Since 1970, the Public School’s share of the General Fund has decreased by 14.1%. If our Public Schools were still funded at the same percentage as in FY 1969-70, we would have an additional $3.01 billion for our students."
I wonder why the school felt it was necessary to turn of the lights, wouldn't this hinder learning? Couldn't they cut back somewhere else? And the sad part is why should schools have to cut back at all?
I know that in my internship in Avery Co. and my home schools at Rockingham Co. are having to cut back on paper and ink usage because they can't afford to buy anymore but I've never heard of schools cutting off the lights. To me that's rather sad for the children attending that school.

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amy butler


Tue Feb 24, 2009 2:19 pm
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That's weird. I've never heard of schools doing stuff like that! I don't feel like it could be good for a learning environment. It's cool when the lights are off for a while, but all day? It seems to me like that would make students sleepy and bored. Plus...squinting down at books or chalkboards in the dark probably gives a lot of headaches. I wonder about safety too. Can cameras catch much when everything is in the dark? I think maybe NC needs to get its priorities straight.

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Natalie Brady


Tue Feb 24, 2009 10:38 pm
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I don't see how cutting the lights off would be helpful to the learning environment. Going to school in the dark is not something that students would look forward to in my opinion. Some students go to school just so they can be in a better environment (eat lunch, be warm, have lighting). I have heard about teachers cutting back on paper usage and them asking parents to send more and more supplies to school, but not cutting the lights off during school hours.

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Heather L. Heath


Tue Feb 24, 2009 11:21 pm
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I find this topic very interesting, and very disappointing. I can't believe that the state would try and save money by cutting the power that has to deal with many children receiving a good education. Is there not some other way that they could try and save money by not allowing it to effect our education. How are we supposed to say that education is one of the most important things and teach it to our children when they are sitting in the dark, and it is clear that the state does not feel the same.

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Samantha Neader


Wed Feb 25, 2009 2:35 pm
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I completely agree with the previous statements about how ridiculous this practice is and how it is not a good learning environment for students. I personally need to have lots of light working, even if it is working on the computer or simply reading an article. If I don't, then I get headaches. Also, I feel like having only th emergency lights on makes students distracted and less likely to pay attention, which hinders their learning and comprehension experiences.

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Laura Davis


Wed Feb 25, 2009 2:41 pm
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I personally think that having a school be dark to same money is rediculous!!! Children learning in the dark hinders their ability to see, concentrate, and just plain learn! I really feel that the government needs to take a second look at where all the money is going to instead of going to and reconsider this! Education needs to be dealt with more seriously and it is not being done that way! this issue really really bothers me!

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Katherine Gray Nelli


Thu Feb 26, 2009 8:34 am
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Being in the dark to save money?? I have always heard that a dark classroom with even half of the lights off makes students tired and more likely to place their head on a desk or become less interested because they are in a dark setting. This would make it hard for students to read and even see the teacher to communicate with them or their classmates. I think this is a horrible way to try and save money. There must be other ways to save money in a school, and those need to be investigated so that the lights will stay on inside a school. I don't see how the superintendent or even the principal would think this is an okay learning environment.

Casey Gill


Thu Feb 26, 2009 11:46 am
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I agree with what has been said so far, and think that the school turning off the lights to save money is ridiculous. It is very sad and somewhat disturbing to learn that the state is making such requirements in order to cut back on spending. Education is the last place that cuts should be made, but unfortunately it is usually one of the first. Making kids stay in the dark all day prevents them from staying focused and therefore learning. I know that my high school left the lights on even after hours and all night so that the security cameras could catch if someone was in the school. I can understand on cutting back and turning off the lights when no one is there (which makes sense anyway), but not when students are in school!

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Kimberly Marie Isidori


Thu Feb 26, 2009 1:17 pm
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I can see how cutting the lights off would save the school money, but I don't see how it would really effect the state's budget, nor do I see it helping the a child's education. If all the lights are off except for the emergency lights, what lights were being used in the classrooms? I know if I were sitting in a dark classroom, I would fall asleep! This disturbs me because now I think, by trying to save money, is the state hindering a child's education? I don't see how cutting the lights is helpful.

I haven't seen or heard of anything like this before so I don't know of anything else going on across the state. If the state wants to save money, couldn't they do something as simple as putting more windows in a classroom and skylights? This would allow more light into the classrooms and you wouldn't have to use lights all the time.

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Emily Towery


Thu Mar 19, 2009 12:30 pm
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Personally I think this would be fun and exciting. It's not like the school is completely dark. They have windows for natural lighting and the emergency lights are on, which by law have to give enough lighting so that a person can see to get around the facility. The teachers would know about the lighting outage before hand and would be able to plan accordingly. Students love new and exciting situations. Maybe on this day lunch could be a picnic. Also, reading could no-so-scary ghost stories read with flash lights that the student bring from home. Recycling and and the importance of conservation could be discussed. Maybe a school wide garden could be started and incorporated into science lessons. The schools save money because the lack of full powered lighting would cut back on the electricity bill. The day should be thought about and planned when it's sunny and warm outside. Teachers should work together and this experience could be very positive and have a huge impact on students.

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Katelyn McMillan


Mon Mar 30, 2009 1:50 pm
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I have also never heard of this happening in schools. I also think it is sad that schools are having to cut back on these things when investing in our children is the best thing we can do for our society. I don't really know where I would choose to cut back on money but I think its weird that they chose the lights to turn off. If the school has enough lighting from outside, then maybe it wouldn't pose too much of a problem, but I just think that overall, our schools should be given more money than this. Like others said, I'm sure that it is not a good learning environment for students and like Casey said, I'm sure that they would be more likely to rest or be more distracted than if they were in a well-lit classroom.

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Leslie Sheppard


Tue Mar 31, 2009 10:09 am
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wow i am shocked to see that a school would turn the lights off to save money. That honestly makes no sense to me. When I was in school they would save paper and ink like someone else said as a way to conserve money but definitely not cut the lights off. In my practicum school, a third grade teacher is retiring and so that they can save money by not hiring another teacher, they are making a 2nd grade teacher move to third grade.


Thu Apr 02, 2009 1:04 am
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That is one of the dumbest ideas I've ever heard-if anything should be cut down in some schools it should be heat/air. I've gone to school many times freezing inside during the summer and sweltering inside during the winter. By the way, I've always more natural light, skylights, would be cool in a classroom, mainly because of that horrible, cubicle-feeling fluorescent light. Also, research shows that AD/HD kids are more likely to be distracted with fluorescent lights due to a pulse that flickers through them, I've noticed this before and found it annoying to the eyes.

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Ben


Thu Apr 02, 2009 7:37 pm
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I visited the Rowan-Salisbury school system oer spring break, and they told me a measure they are going to implement to save money. During the summer they are going to have 4 day work weeks for the administration and shut down all buildings from power and water. This was projected to save a significant amount fo money int he long run, and would only be done for 7 weekends in the summer.

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A. Kyle Whisenant


Thu Apr 02, 2009 8:34 pm
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This is really weird. I've never heard of any school having to resort to shutting off the lights and before I read through all the replies I thought it had to be just a negative thing. I found it interesting that it was suggested to make the best of the situation by going outside for lessons, or for telling stories in the dark. That’s awesome. Sometimes you just have to work with what you're given, and those teachers at the elementary school have to be. Do you know what they're doing about it? I'm sure it’s not completely dark, but even with the lights half way on, it can be difficult to see as well (both for the students doing work, and as a teacher trying to watch the students).

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Crystal Brooke Ritchie


Mon Apr 06, 2009 4:20 pm
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