Is Idaho on to something with shorter school weeks?
- Over 40 school districts in Idaho are now operating on a four-day, Monday through Thursday week.
- For some districts, like Orofino, the move was a cost-cutting effort to deal with major funding cuts, and many of the districts are performing well.
- Despite opponents pointing to the moves to shorter school weeks as emblematic of a broken, poorly funded public education system, officials from the districts in question say that if there were votes tomorrow, they wouldn't favor going back to five days.
Officials in districts that have switched to four-day school weeks say that teachers have had to alter curriculum created for a traditional five-day week, but that most of the teachers still show up on Fridays to complete work and prepare for the following week. Additionally, Orofino School District Superintendent Robert Vian told the Idaho State Journal that the resulting cuts in payroll, transportation, and food service trimmed up to 15% from the district's budget.
While there's no argument that schools can indeed do more with additional funding, it's also hard to argue that the four-day schedule is all that bad if there are still schools receiving "five-star" ratings from the state. Could this issue be the next later start time debate?
- Idaho State Journal Idaho officials see benefit in shorter school week
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