Monday, April 1, 2019

Dozens of districts adopted four-day weeks to save money

"In recent years, school districts across the state have adopted four-day-a-week calendars to save money and recruit teachers," The Oklahoman reports.
Most four-day districts are in rural communities, especially near the border where teachers can find a higher paying job in the neighboring state. Ninety-two school districts have four-day weeks, including Noble Public Schools, a 2,900-student district that switched to a four-day week in 2015 as a way to save money without cutting personnel or programs.

Superintendent Frank Solomon said the switch resulted in improved student engagement and fewer attendance and discipline issues. "We're maintaining a highly qualified teaching staff, our academics are not suffering, and we're saving some money," he told The Oklahoman.

Hugo Public Schools in southeast Oklahoma moved to a four-day schedule two years ago to recruit teachers, especially as neighboring districts had already made the switch, according to Superintendent Earl Dalke. Dalke said requiring all districts to have five-day weeks would take away the in-state competition. "Unless the state mandates the change, it is unlikely we will return to a five-day week," he said. 

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