More Texas school districts continue debate over 4-day school weeks
ByFunAsia 07 Mar 2023 07:23 AM 37

The debate for a 4-day school week goes on for some locales across the state.

One North Texas educational committee is postponing the thought until additional direction from the Texas Education Agency.

Mesquite ISD is pausing its conversations about changing to a 4-day school week. The region will keep a watch out if the Texas Governing body says something regarding the matter first.

In any case, many different regions are not hanging tight for the state and have previously made arrangements for the change for the following school year.

The 50 districts across the state express changing to a 4-day week say it's a method for drawing in and holding teachers. However, some experts suggest that this experiment could backfire.

"A lot of rural schools are going to this model. I think it saves the district money," explained Dr. Chris Sloan, Associate Dean of the College of Education at Tarleton State University. "Fewer utilities with buildings closed. They don't run the buses one day."

Many regions are considering a massive change to their school timetable to assist with staffing.

Sloan says the savings could come loaded with significant disadvantages. A 4-day school week means longer school days, more limited summers, or a destructive choice: instructors investing less energy with students.

"The idea of 3-day weekends sounds good in theory," he said. "In practice, either the hours the teacher works is the same, or someone suffers."

Alliance AFT President Rena Honea represents Dallas ISD teachers. She says the state should allow districts to decide for themselves, but she would have severe reservations about the model for large urban communities.

"We are not only looking at lost instructional minutes. If students are not in school on Fridays, parents have to have someone to take care of the younger kids," she said. "Is that an increase in daycare? Someone who has to take off to be with them?"

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