More South Dakota Schools Go to 4-Day Week to Cut Costs
The “four day week” is a growing trend in many school districts in a number of states around the country. Several small school districts in South Dakota are the latest to shorten the school week to save money.
A small rural school district in South Dakota is among the latest to adopt a four-day school week as the best option for reducing costs and dealing with state budget cuts.
School officials say it will save the district about $50,000 dollars a year, and allow them to preserve a vocational education program that otherwise would have been scrapped.
Under the new class schedule, the district will make up for the lost day with a longer school day with longer class periods and shorter lunch breaks. In elementary school, recess and physical education classes will be shortened.
The school superintendent says the changes won’t completely make up for losing Friday, but the district will still exceed the state’s minimum standard for class time and will teach all the required material.
The four-day week is an increasingly visible example of the impact of state budget problems on rural education. This fall, fully one-fourth of South Dakota’s districts will have moved to some form of the abbreviated schedule.
Only Colorado and Wyoming have more schools using a shortened week, and the trend is spreading. A recent survey showed more than 120 school districts in 20 states, most in the west, now use four-day weeks.
What do you think? School funding is as tight in Texas as it is everywhere else. Should small town school districts in east Texas do the same thing?