A surprising number of school districts opted for a four-day week

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Hundreds of school districts across the country cut classes.

The Parish of Avoyelles, Louisiana, recently announced its intention to move to a four-day school week next year, joining the approximately 560 school districts in 25 states that have already adopted three-day weekends throughout the country. year.

"We need to think about something else," said Rickey Adams, a member of the Avoyelles Parish School Board. KALB, NBC / CBS Affiliate in Central Louisiana On Wednesday, one day after the council, the council voted 7 votes against 2 in favor of a shorter school week for its 5,300 students in the rural district of 10 schools.

This decision is expected to reduce costs, said Avoyelles Parish Superintendent Blaine Dauzat. Yahoo News that "we are the last in state in terms of teacher salaries", as well as helping to hire and retain teachers who would still receive a five day salary while working for four days, although by extending the duration of their teaching on the following days: they are lit

Weeks four days are not new – they tended to cycle during times of financial crisis, such as the 1930s and more recently during the Great Recession, when troubled western states such as Idaho, Missouri, South Dakota and Montana has seen more schools dropped on Mondays or Fridays to save transportation and utility costs a day a week. Today & # 39; hui more than half of Colorado's school districts (98 out of 178) went to a four-day week, as did about 40% of New Mexico's districts. Schools in Florida (2012), Iowa (2013) and Texas (2016) have also shortened their school weeks in recent years.

Center for Reinventing Public Education

Most districts operate from Monday to Thursday, although a few have been on the road from Tuesday to Friday and the remaining school days are about an hour or half an hour longer to give the same amount of time. teaching on a reduced number of days, as required by state law.

But if the shorter workweek can look good on paper, especially for teachers, many would like to take advantage of the popular benefit of the shortened workweek. appreciated by Shake Shack employees and a growing number of companies – Many parents and educators are concerned about the long-term effect of a shorter week on their children's education.

On the one hand, school results have been mixed. While a Colorado study saw higher math scores after students had gone to four days, another found no significant difference. An unpublished study of Oregon experienced a temporary decline in educational outcomes, particularly among minority, low-income and special needs students.

Worst, another recent study in Colorado estimated that switching to a four-day schedule increased by 73% the number of juvenile arrests for property crimes (particularly theft).

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Critics also point out that losing a school day is particularly distressing for low-income parents and dual-earner households struggling to find affordable child care one more day each week, now that their children do not have enough money. have no course. In addition, many low-income students depend on public schools for breakfast and lunch, so that they would also lose some essential meals.

Paul T. Hill, professor-researcher at the University of Washington, Bothell, who founded the Center on Reinventing Public Education, has authored several articles questioning the impact of the week four-day school day on the students.

"You can see where the children from privileged families said," Oh, here is the opportunity for me to take my child to college preparation, to a tour or to a project. any enrichment. from there, "he said in an interview of 2017. "But we are concerned about two groups of children. First, small children who, because of the structure of four-day weeks, went to school for much longer days; it was not clear to anyone that they were able to handle that. Second, children from the poorest families or families who were not two-income families, where the children might lose their meaning on the fifth day. "

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But on the positive side, some schools reported lower absentee rates among students and staff by moving to a shorter week. And some parents and teachers said that they enjoyed improving the work-life balance that involves having an extra weekday to go shopping or work. on lesson plans. Michelle Lopez, a third year teacher in Jal, New Mexico, told the United Federation of Teachers that we [now] have extended periods of the week for reading and math interventions for students who need help. Many of us come on Friday anyway to prepare lesson plans and other administrative tasks. "