In response to a near $900,000 loss in the county’s education budget back in 2010, Peach County located in the southern part of Georgia decided to change to a 4-day school week. This move put them among the 100 or so districts across the country to implement such a system. Districts see this system as a way to cut down on cost to fight against slashing cuts in school budgets. The new system involved 4, 10 hour days, with no class on Saturdays, Sundays, or Mondays. School officials released statistics on the change-up:
- Costs for substitutes went down nearly 76 percent from August to November.
- Transportation costs went down 35 percent
- Utility costs down by 8 percent
- Student attendance became “fractionally” lower
- Discipline incidents went down nearly 40 percent
Not only did the school cut a day off for economic purposes, but to also see how students mental health improved or worsened with less school days of longer hours. Other districts have experimented with this idea to test the effects on student/teacher morale, reduced discipline, and academic improvement. In 2012 however, the school went back to a 5-day week.
In your opinion, do you see any benefits to a shorter school week?
Do you think that this would potentially increase student engagement?
Is this a good way to cut costs so that schools can fund other programs needed such as technological materials or facilities for extracurricular activities?