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Four-Day School Schedule Saves Districts Money, Costs Parents More

Four-Day School Schedule Saves Districts Money, Costs Parents More

NPR took a look at at one of 41 districts in Arizona to adopt the four-day school schedule as an attempt to save money and provide teachers time to plan without working weekends.

At Peralta Trail Elementary School, part of the Apache Junction Unified School District, this year marks the first that the school has moved to a four-day school week, adding an hour to class-time Monday through Thursday to make the change possible.

The district, like many others, decided to make the change in order to remedy funding issues; the four-day schedule allows for it "to save money on things like gas for buses, heating and cooling bills and school lunches,” NPR said.

"This year Apache Junction estimates it'll save less than one percent of the budget by dropping Friday classes. That's about $33 per student, per year.”

And the change also seeks to help out the district’s teachers, who NPR says make $10,000 less a year than teachers in surrounding districts. Having the fifth day of the week off allows for teachers to have an extra day to plan lessons without being forced to work on the weekends.

This change, according to NPR, incentives teachers t say in the district despite the low pay.

But for parents, the change is both tough on their schedules and their wallets as their forced to take on day-care charges they otherwise didn’t have.

Parents Bill and Jennifer Florence told NPR they will pay “more than $1,500 in childcare because of the four-day schedule.”

“[T]he district says the schedule is so unpopular with families that it expects to loose several hundred students to other school systems.”

Read the full story.

Article by Nicole Gorman, Education World Contributor


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