Burnsville Weighs Shorter School Weeks To Save $5 million, Should Northland Schools Consider Similar Plan?
When I was a student I’d be all for this! As a working parent, it sounds like a nightmare to make sure the kids would have programs and supervision on the off days. One of their proposed plans is giving the kids every other Monday off, which I think is too confusing to schedule around. If you must do this to save money, I’d say end the school year earlier. I’m fine with extending the school days by 36 minutes so kids would still get the same amount of total class time.
If Burnsville does this and it works, I bet other communities would consider it. Should Duluth or any Northland school districts look into the following plan?
As part of an effort to save $5 million next year, the Burnsville School District might give students every other Monday off or even send students home for the summer before Memorial Day.
“That’s ridiculous if you work full time,” said Joy Smetanka, who has three children in the district. “Every other Monday? I wouldn’t do that. If they do that, they are going to have a lot of families moving out of the district.”
If board members give students regular days off, Burnsville likely would be the first metro-area school district and the largest in the state to use a four-day school week on a regular basis or end the school year so early.
“This would be the first time for a major district to take this on,” said Ron Hill, chairman of the Burnsville school board. “We just can’t keep doing things the same old way.”
The ideas are part of a proposed budget plan to lower costs by cutting 17 school days from next year’s calendar. District officials are quick to point out that the actual number of instructional hours for children will remain the same, as mandated by state law, but would be spread over 155 days instead of 172.
The lost in-school days would be made up by extending the remaining school days by about 36 minutes, according to Ruth Dunn, the district spokeswoman.