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.”

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