Will a four-day school week solve budget problems?
We did a little digging and found out a growing number of school districts across the country are moving to a four-day school week in order to battle budget constraints. Ten of those school districts are in Missouri.
School officials in Putnam County, Schuyler County and the Kirksville R-III School District tell us the new school week has been on the agenda in years past.
However, Pat Williams the superintendent at Kirksville R-III schools say they didn't find a need for their students.
"Well in certain cases when budgets are a challenge, it pencils out to be somewhat of an advantage," said Williams. "Iâ??m not necessarily supportive of looking at that direction, Iâ??m not sure it's necessary for Kirksville to look at that.â??
Williams said it's more than just a shorter week for students; there are other factors that go into it.
Students in these districts will have longer days, going to school Tuesday through Friday, still meeting the state's minimum requirements.
"Anythingâ??s possible, not going to say it's not going to happen," said Robert Amen, Schuyler County superintendent. "We were looking at it originally as a cost-cutting measure and we've done some other things to reduce those costs."
While students are taking Mondays off, the teachers will be in the classroom for staff development and lesson planning.
Area school districts say there is no immediate need for the four-day school week. Williams tell us the length of time students are in class doesn't really matter.
"So regardless how much time you're in class, it boils down to effective teaching practices," said Williams.
Educators say this four-day school week is primarily meant to aid education budgets, but they've also noticed an increase in test scores and rise in attendance.