Public Hearing On Flexible School Week To Be Held In Albany
Senator Steve Saland (R,I,C Poughkeepsie), Chairman of the Senate Education Committee, today announced he will conduct a public hearing on whether New York State should give public schools the flexibility to change to a four day school week or other type of flexible schedule.
A number of schools nationwide have implemented a flexible school week schedule while still maintaining the statutorily required amount of instructional time. This type of flexibility has resulted in savings on such items as energy, transportation and substitute teacher costs. Many of the districts in other states which have already implemented flexible schedules tend to be smaller and rural with long transportation routes to and from schools.
Given the fiscal crisis facing New York with possible reductions in state aid to schools, as well as rising fuel, energy and transportation costs, a flexible school week may offer some schools operational flexibility without jeopardizing the amount of instructional time required by law.
The goal of this hearing is to solicit testimony from interested parties on whether New York schools would benefit from such flexibility. Speakers will be asked to address such questions as how the quality of education could be maintained; what operational changes might need to be made; what the potential advantages and disadvantages might be; and what cost savings could reasonably be anticipated.
The hearing will be held on Wednesday, December 10, 2008 from 11:00 AM to 2:00 PM in Hearing Room A of the Legislative Office Building in Albany, NY. Oral testimony will be accepted from invited speakers only. Written testimony may be mailed to: Jennifer Simmons, NYS Senate Education Committee, 846A LOB, Albany, NY 12247. For more information call 518-455-2631. Members of the media should call 518-455-2411.