To close budget holes and prevent teacher layoffs, more schools are going to a four-day school week, reports the AP. The missed hours are normally made up by lengthening school days. But what does it all mean for our kids -- and for us?
The concept of the four-day school week is not a new one. Until recently, though, it was mostly small, rural districts that had the shorter week. But now, due to increasing budget cuts, more and more districts are making it the rule, not the exception.
For working moms, it poses an obvious problem: Most work FIVE-day workweeks. Who will watch their kids on the fifth day? Schools save money, but parents LOSE money because they have to spend cash on childcare.
Critics say shorter weeks will have a huge negative impact on students' learning, too. "There's no way a switch like that wouldn't negatively affect teaching and learning," says Tim Callahan, spokesman for the Professional Association of Georgia Educators.
However, there's very little information about exactly how a shortened week affects students. A 2009 report by the Idaho Department of Education said that evidence was "inconclusive" as to whether student achievement was affected, and the Colorado Department of Education said the "jury is out on the question of student performance."
What do you think of the four-day school week?