Monday, February 20, 2012

Walker's Plan Working: School Districts Panic over Funding Shortfalls, consider 4 Day Week.

Believe it or not, the 4 day school week is too new to know if it's working yet. But many school districts are very close to finding out. As the stories below indicate, kids and parents are happy, school officials see it as a positive, but what about grades. And what happens when the 4 day week newness fades, and everyone gets back down to the workday grind? What other countries have tried it, and what were their results? Is there a reason why we don't have any of these answers? WEAU: 

Leadertelegram: A local school district could buck the Monday-through-Friday format, opting as soon as next year to adopt a four-day week instead.

Officials in the Blair-Taylor district — a roughly 620-student school system that straddles the Jackson-Trempealeau County line — plan to present ideas to community members this weekend about shifting schools to a four-day week.

"My question I had is: ‘What educational research is there to support that (a four-day week) doesn't compromise a student's achievement?' " Carol Craig, president of the Eau Claire school board, said recently. "... It has not even come on our radar screen."

Craig said she doesn't know what advantages a four-day school week might have, and noted that unless she finds research backing the concept, she's not interested in the idea.
From around the country:
 Ocalacom: The Marion County School Board officially ended its quest to implement four-day school weeks for 2012-13, voting unanimously Tuesday night to remove the radical calendar off its books. The idea started losing traction last month when the district learned the savings would not be as great as first thought.

That's when state officials said Marion's transportation funding would be cut by $1.8 million if Marion went to four-day weeks. So, in the end, four-day school weeks would have only saved $2.4 million.
And when it comes to eventually making even more cuts:
SunSentanel: The Palm Beach County  school budgets is prompting consideration of potentially controversial measures affecting parents, students and employees: Charging parents for some student bus rides all year. Cutting the seventh period out of high schools. Selling school district property. Hiring private companies to run non-academic departments. Selling advertisements all over campuses and inside buses. Added cellular phone towers. Employee unpaid furloughs.

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