Friday, March 31, 2017

The tricky math of 4-day school weeks

Excerpt from the CBS MoneyWatch article by Aimee Picchi:


At least 120 school districts have adopted the four-day school week, and more are currently considering switching to the shorter schedule. The trend has mostly spread to rural counties in Western states, where busing costs can be high because students live far apart. Banner County, Nebraska, and Loving, New Mexico, are two areas currently debating the shorter week, while another New Mexico district recently made the switch. 

Behind the push is a desire to save money by cutting back on operating costs. Even though the Great Recession is long over, many districts continue to struggle with their budgets and feel pressure from taxpayers to keep spending low. But [Michael] Griffith found the belief that four-day weeks save money didn’t hold up under scrutiny, especially given teachers and staff continue to receive the same pay, and labor costs represent the bulk of districts’ spending.


Experienced educators have found the shorter work weeks can be tough on young students, according to the Brookings Institution. The think tank also found very few districts added projects for the fifth day of the week or assigned learning activities for the day, which can turn Mondays into “the first day back from vacation.” 


Read the full article.

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