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Will four-day school week offset budget crisis?

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Ever since late November of last year, several Oklahoma school districts have been looking into four-day school weeks, among them the Newcastle, Vanoss and Tulsa Public School districts.

This has been due to tight budgets, especially in light of the estimated $157 million shortfall which was announced in December. The move to a shorter school week is projected to help in saving money for the whole school year, like cutting transportation and food expenses.

“It would be beneficial to school districts given our current situation,” said Ada High School teacher Shawn Freeman.

Would you support moving to a four day school week?

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According to the Oklahoma State Department of Education, around 35 districts in the state of Oklahoma are already running on the four-day schedule. Schools have been able to cut off 15 to 46 days from their calendars by extending the length of the school day while still meeting the state’s 180-day minimum.

“It makes sense that we would switch to a four-day week since we don’t have the money to do anything,” said Ada High School junior, Maggie Donaghey.

While this proposition offers several solutions, some people are not supportive of the idea, one of them being State School Superintendent Joy Hofmeister. “Frankly, I think it’s a short-term, promotional tactic to attract teachers at the expense of kids,” said Hofmeister in an interview around late November.

Parents and guardians are also concerned about child care, since some rely on the traditional five-day schedule to occupy and take care of their children throughout the day. Newcastle parent Aaron Hart expressed his worry about his young child getting accustomed to the shorter school week, and how it could affect their experiences after high school.

Regardless, if the change is elected, it is scheduled to begin next fall.

“As a student who enjoys the weekends and days off from school it sounds like a fine way to save money,” said Tulsa Public Schools student Dallas Diehl.

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Will four-day school week offset budget crisis?