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Cost Savings Not Realized For Most Four-Day Week Schools, Study Says


A study conducted by the State Department of Education casts doubt on the assumption that switching to a four-day school week will save money.

More and more districts are making the switch to the shortened week, citing costs savings as the reason. But the study, requested by Governor Mary Fallin, shows that might not be the case.

The State Department of Education analyzed the expenditures of 16 districts that have been on a four day school week for six years, and the results show nine districts actually spent more money on utilities and support staff. Cost savings for the remaining districts were minimal.

Superintendent Joy Hofmeister says she is concerned that the shortened week negatively impacts kids because they lose academic momentum.

"School boards care deeply about students, but it is important that they have accurate information. There is a perception that there will be significant cost savings from a four-day school week, but the results of our survey were inconclusive, and the savings that did occur were very marginal. We believe the cost to students is far too great to consider the four-day week as a long-term strategy."

Supporters of the four-day school week say it is great for morale, and for attracting teachers.

Emily Wendler was KOSU's education reporter from 2015 to 2019.
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