Four-Day School Weeks: For Real Now

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schoolbus-gas.jpgAbout a month ago, I wrote that a handful of school districts—due to rising fuel costs—said they could save thousands of dollars in school bus fuel by switching to four-day school weeks. Apparently things have really ramped up since then.

A recent survey says that 1 in 7 school boards nationwide are considering whether to drop a day off the normal five-day school week. About half surveyed said they were planning to cut out field trips, and more than 30% said they were consolidating or eliminating bus routes.

We’ve been down this road before. During the oil crisis of the 1970s about 100 districts implemented a four-day week also. One small study in Florida in 1973 found that half the students preferred it (Heck yeah: three-day weekends!).

But gas prices aren’t the only issue: a shaky economy and some state budge woes led some districts to switch to a four-day week as many as four years ago.

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We've never been very good at being conservative.

And usually, that serves us well in doing the ambitious, hard-hitting journalism that you turn to Mother Jones for. But it also means we can't afford to come up short when it comes to scratching together the funds it takes to keep our team firing on all cylinders, and the truth is, we finished our budgeting cycle on June 30 about $100,000 short of our online goal.

This is no time to come up short. It's time to fight like hell, as our namesake would tell us to do, for a democracy where minority rule cannot impose an extreme agenda, where facts matter, and where accountability has a chance at the polls and in the press. If you value our reporting and you can right now, please help us dig out of the $100,000 hole we're starting our new budgeting cycle in with an always-needed and always-appreciated donation today.

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