Four-day school week passes in Florida county
Marion County Superintendent Jim Yancy said the switch to four-day school weeks would save $4.5 million.
June 30th, 2011
07:21 PM ET

Four-day school week passes in Florida county

While students in many parts of the world attend school for up to six days a week, students in Marion County, Florida, will receive three-day weekends - every week - starting in the fall of 2012, making it the first county in Florida to make the change.

The Marion County School Board in Florida voted this week in a 4-1 decision to approve a four-day school week for the county’s schools, according to Kevin Christian, the school district’s public relations officer.

The action comes after a massive $24 million cut to next year’s operating budget. Making the switch will save the district around $4.5 million, Marion County School Superintendent Jim Yancey said, according to Orlando television station 13 News.

Students will attend school either Monday through Thursday or Tuesday through Friday, with an additional 75 minutes tacked on each day in the 2012-2013 school year, 13 News says. One day less a week will save on water and energy, along with transportation costs.

A downside, of course, is long, draining class days, with three-day weekends possibly providing too much time between lessons, causing regression in learning.

The Education Commission of the States says the most a school will save is 2.5% of overall budget savings by transitioning to four days a week.

According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, 21 states already have school districts with public schools offering four-day school weeks.

While Board members originally considered implementing the shorter week for the 2011-2012 school year, the district was able to save in other places instead, but expects another $8 million in budget cuts for the 2012-2013 budget.

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Filed under: Budget • Economy • Education • Florida
soundoff (90 Responses)
  1. Jennifer

    I can see and understand why this decision was made; though I know many disagree it has to do with budget cuts. But personally I'd rather for them to cut a day instead of cutting teachers to save some money. Alabama had education as their first cut of budget (instead of that ridiculous Bingo Raid b.s.) and lost a lot of good teachers.

    Many teachers are good at their job, but parents need to step forward as well to make sure their children are doing homework and stay on top of it. Many aren't that involved with their children's education as it is and teachers end up being nothing more than glorified babysitters.

    July 21, 2011 at 2:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • Kiely

      Trueeee... Kids these days usually end up on the streets selling dope and other what nots. Its time for parents to take a stand and be involved with their childs education. I want more lawyers and doctors in this country to knock some sense into this country. 🙂

      November 28, 2011 at 11:22 am | Report abuse |
  2. Mae

    The above post makes me mad. Teachers get paid for teaching, parents don't. Again what are teachers getting paid for? Teaching! Its a job for crying out loud. Yes kids need to do their homework. As a mother of three, I find it very frustrating that teachers and the school system seem to expect parents to teach as well. I think the system is so different from when I was a child, when the subjects taught were basic and uncomplicated. Today its so complicated it discourages kids from learning. It seems to me that schools close down at the drop of a hat, for any ridiculous reason. Teachers already get a ridiculous amount of time off. In the month of November there are two four day weekends. Then that is followed by Christmas and my kids were out of school for three weeks. Every holiday seems to get at least one extra day off besides the actual holiday, sometimes a lot more than that. I would be furious if my school district went to four days. I don't expect a teacher to be a glorified babysitter, I expect him or her to be a teacher. And I don't like it when they come home and have so much homework that they don't even understand. Teachers need to stop putting the onus on the parents and start doing what they are paid to do, teach~!

    July 23, 2011 at 3:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • Elaine

      You don't expect to teach your own kids?? Are you kidding me? What parent doesn't want to help in their kids education? Folks like you are what's wrong with this country. Nobody wants to take any responsibility for anything. Subjects are too complicated??? This is why we're slowing losing as a country to China. School is supposed to get progressively harder. How are you supposed to succeed in life if everything was easy? How are you supposed to learn everything you're suppose to in 1 school day? You can't. You need homework for it to sink in. I feel really bad for your children. Having a mother who places the job of teaching on everyone else. You're failing your children with your laziness.

      July 23, 2011 at 6:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • Anothermuse

      Was that a serious post? Well, let's face it the owrk is more complicated than it used to be so education will be as well. Since you don't think it's your "job" to teach your kids, your kids won't learn. It's not someone elses responsibility, your children are your responsibility and the school systems are a tool for you to leverage.

      July 25, 2011 at 10:29 am | Report abuse |
    • Denise

      Mae, I agree with you 100%. Of course , we parents are the first teachers to our kids. But it is hard to help my kids with their homework, when I can't even understand it. I go to the math workshops, etc., and I just can't grasp some of it. I have to rely on my daughter to help my son, who is younger. I remember when 1+1 equaled 2, now you have to go around the block, through a tunnel, over a bridge, etc. just to get to 2. Everything else is fast paced, why has math slowed down?

      August 31, 2011 at 7:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • Nyoka

      Parents need to realise that the process of education and educating is a PARTNERSHIP – teachers cannot be fully responsible for the learning outcomes of a student; parents need to exercise control when that child is away from the school environment to ensure that learning objectives are more easily met through more fluid continuation of teaching modules. Stop being lazy!

      October 26, 2011 at 4:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ryan

      What state do you live in where you have two 4 day weekends in November and a 3 week break at Christmas? It must not be in Florida. Besides in Florida, the school year consists of 180 school days, regardless of how many 4 day weekends they have.

      November 18, 2011 at 10:03 am | Report abuse |
  3. JB

    The role of a parent INCLUDES teaching your children. It disgusts me that you think otherwise. As for your thought that things are "too complicated", I pity the future of your children and society itself if other parents agree with you. The world is evolving and getting more complex, and we need to change with the times. Knowing that 1+1 = 2 isn't going to get our children through the world anymore. Finally, your thought about teachers getting "a ridiculous amount of time off" is a very ignorant comment. If you truly knew the life of a teacher, you would know that breaks, whether it be Thanksgiving, Christmas or summer, are spent grading assignments, creating new lessons to teach your children, and learning better strategies to use in their classroom. Your lack of knowledge disgusts me, and I pray that your children are blessed to have awesome teachers since they obviously won't be learning anything at home.

    July 24, 2011 at 12:41 pm | Report abuse |
  4. brown

    This is one of the reasons America will not be able to compete in the 21st century.

    haha! keep on re-electing them!

    July 24, 2011 at 11:09 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Sagebrush Shorty

    5 days,4 days or even 3 days, it makes no difference. The educational system throughout the US is a disaster.

    July 24, 2011 at 11:48 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Anothermuse

    Schools are expensive, teaching is expensive. I hate taxes (and am amoung the 53% of people that actually pay taxes) but the bottom line is that we cannot continue cutting education to solve shortfalls. The system needs funded and if that means raising taxes, it is one of the reasons that would be acceptable. People are paying the lowest tax rates in history, and doing it on the backs of their children.. And yes, ALL tax groups are paying the lowest amount, before someone mentions it's just the rich peoples fault.

    July 25, 2011 at 10:32 am | Report abuse |
  7. Also Amazed

    Why is it in this country that when budget shortfalls loom, education is always one of the first things to get cut? And why, when education is cut, is it the education programs and TEACHER'S salaries that are slashed and not the bloated budgets and salaries of the administrators and their departments? This county in Florida could probably completely erase their ENTIRE 24,000,000 shortfall by adding a hundred bucks to everybody's property tax bill. That's less than 10 bucks a month (per household, not per person). Taxes suck, but for certain things they are necessary. We cannot expect schools to educate our children for free. Suck it up and increase the taxes in addition to cutting some administrative waste.

    July 25, 2011 at 2:36 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Renee

    I sure hope that the teachers pay is being decreased since they will be working one less day per week. No other job would pay the same amount for less work. Teachers can be the biggest complainers and I am so sick of it. They get more paid time off, more days off period, and most make very good money when you consider the amount of time they have off. So what if they work hard, most people here do and make much less money. Just because you are a teacher doesn't give you some glorified status that you should have more rights than everyone else. You have better retirement and I love seeing you lose your unions. Get over yourselves and go work a real job where you only get 10 days off a year, no pension or lifelong insurance and you actually have to answer for the kind of job you do. Screw Tenure!!! What a joke.!!

    July 26, 2011 at 10:56 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Chris

    Ok before trashing the idea.....we work 4-10s at work during the summer and it saves us money. Why not have kids go to school for 10 hours a day 4 days a week? You know how much time, gas, and money in general is wasted by calling ALL employees in on Friday?

    July 28, 2011 at 12:16 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Dave

    Many schools on the 4 day week see improvements in education and attendance. It reduces time missed from sports, tiredness from work overload, and budget shortfalls. It's about time kids can be kids again.

    September 18, 2011 at 12:43 am | Report abuse |
  11. Ted

    These comments are hilarious. The kids don't have a choice. The school board just hasn't made up their mind whether they will start on Monday and have Friday off, or start on Tuesday and take Monday off. My bet is Monday off. That way there can still be school on Friday before sporting events.

    November 17, 2011 at 3:35 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Betsy

    The school board has looked at this for three years and has done everything they could short of cutting teachers. Education is important to Marion County (Ocala). It has one of the best school systems in Florida and the only public school recognized by the Department of Education as a Blue Ribbon School. The state of Florida mandates small classes and permanent classrooms (no portables). As such limited resources go to build classrooms and pay teachers. The comments about teachers being overpaid are in error. They will cover the same material and spend the same amount of time in the classroom as other Florida teachers working 5 days a week.

    November 17, 2011 at 5:21 pm | Report abuse |
  13. jdsfhhuy

    wikipedia

    December 7, 2011 at 8:31 am | Report abuse |
  14. JP

    Why don't they close some of the county buliding instead of closing the school. Children have such long days as it is. This 75 minutes each day will take away from my child's homework. This 4 day a week is going to hurt alot of people with small children, now they will have to find a sitter or day-care and pay for a full day for each child. This is not going to help, it's going to hurt alot of people. Yes it's nice for the teachers because now they will have a nice long weekend.

    January 2, 2012 at 2:23 pm | Report abuse |
  15. dsgda

    i think its a longer time to finesh homework and a longer time to rest. to take care of a little baby

    January 8, 2012 at 7:13 pm | Report abuse |
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