Friday, June 04, 2010
Go figure—Hawaii Furlough Fridays may have been part of a national trend
by Larry Geller
Hawaii schools were off every other Friday this year for schools to save money, giving them the state with the shortest school year in the country.
From California to Minnesota to New York, districts — mostly small, rural ones with less than 5,000 students — are following the trend, hoping to rescue their bleeding budgets.
For Peach County, the four-day week was enough of a success that the school district is trying it again next year. [AP, 4-Day School Weeks Gain Popularity Across US, 6/4/2010]
The article doesn’t credit Hawaii with setting the trend, however:
The trend of four-day school weeks started in New Mexico during the oil crisis of the 1970s and has been popular in rural states where students have to commute a long way. Other districts have used it as a way to try to fix schools with a long history of poor student performance by shaking up the schedule and giving children more time to study outside of school.
Study or play video games?
Of course, in the current economic downturn, taking a day off is seen as an alternative to firing teachers and staff.
At least, Hawaii came to its senses and restored instructional time. The article seems to indicate that other school districts may not be following that particular trend.