Seward Looks At Flexible School Week

James L. Seward

December 10, 2008

“As we work through these tough fiscal times it’s essential that we consider new and innovative cost saving measures to combat the high cost of education and high property taxes. Mandate relief and other ideas are being explored and a flexible four day school week with longer school days could also be an option for some school districts.

“Savings in transportation, energy, food services, and utilities could all be realized through a flexible school week.

“There are concerns however, child care, and other logistic matters need to be researched, and the entire community needs to be part of the process should a school district decide to pursue this option.

“As we move forward everything is on the table when it comes to cutting costs. One thing not on the table however is a quality education for students. We must make sure that any cost saving measures implemented, are done without sacrificing opportunities for our children.”

Seward, a member of the Senate Education Committee, is working with his colleagues to identify cost savings that would assist schools and property taxpayers. At this week’s hearing education officials from across the state testified on the pros and cons of switching from a traditional five day school week to a more flexible four day week with longer school days. Small rural schools with long transportation routes have made the switch in other states and are reporting positive results.