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Local History

House Bill Would Allow Four-Day School Weeks

The Missouri House has given first-round approval to a bill that would allow four-day school weeks. That means Missouri school districts would have the option of having three-day weekends. KSMU’s Alvin Chen visited a local school to see what they thought about the bill.

Some children at Rountree Elementary School climb on the playground equipment while others play tag. Right now, these kids are in school five days a week. But if the proposed bill becomes law, their school, and others like it across Missouri, could take the fifth day off.

That’s David Martin, the principal of Rountree Elementary School. He says a four-day school week means that students will lose about six hours of instructional engagement time. He’s cautious that this will lead to a lower academic performance for students.

One concern for many parents would be finding child care on the extra day the kids are off. But some in the field of education say even though there are downsides to a four-day school week, it’s a good idea for schools to save money and for students to have more flexible schedules.

Dr. Cathy Pearman is an associate professor in Missouri State University’s College of Education.

Pearman also says four-day school weeks would have other benefits, such as a drop in absenteeism for faculty and students.

For KSMU News, I’m Alvin Chen.