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By Steve Erdman
47th District 

Straight Talk With Steve: Fair Time


August 17, 2022 | View PDF

These are now the dog days of summer and that means that it is also time to go to the fair. For the past three weeks fairs have been going on all throughout the nine counties which comprise legislative district 47.

When our boys were growing up, the county fair was always a highlight of the summer. The county fair presents young people with great opportunities to put their various talents and abilities on display.

Those in 4H and FFA can enter the animals that they have fed and groomed all year long as exhibits and students may enter other kinds of projects, such as class posters and school enrichment essays. All of these activities and more help us as an American society to build the kind of character in our children that will prepare them for life in the real world.

Because a lot of hard work and organization goes into the planning of a county fair, I would like to recognize and thank all of those involved in the preparation and planning of our county fairs. The 4H leaders and FFA leaders play an integral role in helping our young people prepare for the fair.

The UNL extension folks are also essential. They organize the advertising and advise volunteers on how to get ready for the fair. And let’s not forget the fair board members. They will immediately start planning for next year’s fair as soon as this year’s fair is over.

The county fair is an event which involves the entire community. Perhaps nobody works harder than the parents who pass on their knowledge and training down to the next generation. Without the businesses who sponsor events and those individuals who pay premium prices for animals at the livestock auctions, the fair would never be such a huge success. So, for everyone who has made a contribution to the success of the county fairs this year, please know that your efforts are appreciated.

The month of August is also when school starts up again. Last year I introduced a bill which would prohibit the school year from starting before Labor Day and dismissing before Memorial Day. As you can see, the current school calendar, which begins the second week in August, makes for a very short summer.

This year school will be starting when the temperatures are at or above 100 degrees Fahrenheit. Such high temperatures create a hardship for teachers and make classroom learning more difficult for students. A short time ago schools waited until after Labor Day to begin classroom instruction. I contend that students learned better under the old school calendar than under the new one because temperatures were more conducive for learning in September as opposed to August.

I hear from many parents and teachers this time of year who prefer the old school calendar. There seems to be a consensus that students, parents and teachers all prefer my idea.

Those who prefer the new school calendar are school superintendents and those who run the State Board of Education. My bill to start the school year after Labor Day and conclude before Memorial Day would not be necessary if school administrators and those sitting on the State Board of Education would consider the well-being of the students, parents, and teachers they supposedly serve.


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