School budget gaps may no longer just mean supply shortages and more crowded classrooms. It increasingly means fewer, longer days at school, possibly pushing the financial burden onto parents.
Nearly 100 school districts in 17 states now go by a four-day school week, according to The Wall Street Journal. That forces working parents to spend more on child care on the extra day when kids are out of school.
Some schools are already used to the four-day week, which has been the norm in states like New Mexico, Idaho and Wyoming due to high energy prices, according to the Journal. But for those new to the schedule, there’s some resistance, because of additional day care costs to parents as well as concerns that children’s achievement in school could suffer.
In Peach County, Ga., however, community groups have come together to ease its residents’ burden. Two Boys & Girls Club locations are offering child care and tutoring for $10 to $15 for a full day, the Journal reports.
Researchers are still working to determine whether a change in school schedules affects student achievement, however.
While teachers will likely make the same amount of money after such a schedule change since the number of hours in class remains the same, bus drivers, custodians and cafeteria workers may suffer, the Journal suggests.