VACostCutting

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Four day school weeks?

It's making headlines across the country as school boards and governments weigh the option to help cut costs. In Nevada, Ohio, Louisiana, Pennsylvania, Montana, Utah, and other states around the country the debate is taking place, and in some places the decision has already been made to move to a four-day school week. (Some reports have as many as 100 schools in 16 states already making the shift.)

Now Virginia schools are beginning to consider this as a cost-savings option.

Lights out. Computers off. Fewer county employees take government cars home. And maybe four school days instead of five.

A joint committee of supervisors and School Board members discussed austerity measures during their second monthly meeting yesterday morning.

A four-day school week would come with complications, such as requiring many parents to find day care for one weekday. However, School Board Chairman Hal Schaffer wants to study the issue further, with the possibility of extending instruction by 80 minutes per day. Closing schools one day a week would save the county on heating, cooling and transportation costs.

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