Old news? Four-day schools’ savings modest

According to a news story making the rounds in Idaho media circles Monday, four-day calendars do not save school districts a substantial amount of money.

While that may be true, it isn’t new news. The basis for the Idaho State Journal report is a 2008 State Department of Education study. The report said districts might be able to save 20 percent on their transportation and food service budgets — but, combined, that adds up to only a 2 percent savings in an overall district budget.

The four-day school week trend is growing: 37 school districts and seven charter schools went to the calendar in 2012-13, up from 14 districts and three charter schools five years ago. However, the Education Department does not plan to revisit its 2008 findings.

Said Education Department spokeswoman Melissa McGrath: “I believe the results of this study still stand; it is a local decision and results will vary depending on the local district, community and how they manage it.”

Kevin Richert

Kevin Richert

Senior reporter and blogger Kevin Richert specializes in education politics and education policy. He has more than 30 years of experience in Idaho journalism. He is a frequent guest on "Idaho Reports" on Idaho Public Television and "Idaho Matters" on Boise State Public Radio. Follow Kevin on Twitter: @KevinRichert. He can be reached at [email protected]

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