Four Day School Week

By: Donald Robinson
By: Donald Robinson

A local legislator is proposing a bill that could mean a four-day school week for your child.

"I don't think it's fair to the child," said parent Benita Anderson. "They don't learn what they are suppose to learn now in five days."

Anderson is a working mother of two. She says not only would a four-day school week hurt students academically, but also some parents financially.

"I'm a single mom," said Anderson, "I work for pennies as it is and I'm barely making ends meet now."

That four day school week could happen if Del. Chris Saxman get his way. Saxman says his bill would require students to be in class for the state required 990 hours of instruction. That's currently broken up into six hours a day now and with the new change, that would add an extra hour and a half to the day.

Saxman wants to provide school districts in Virginia with the opportunity to follow the example of other school districts across the country.

"Throughout the U.S. there is well over 100 districts doing this with some measures of success," said Del. Saxman, "cost savings, achievement scores are up and morale with teachers are up."

That might be true, but some teachers I talked with about the idea think differently.

"If you have five days of instruction that would give them more practice," said Gene Blackmer a teacher at R.E. Lee High School.

"We're already fighting to keep them here a longer period of time," said Patty Leslie a teacher at R.E. Lee High School.

Saxman says he knows some parents would have a problem of providing child care for children that can't stay home alone. He feels this would be a great opportunity for the Boys and Girls Clubs as well as churches to step in.

50 North Main Street Harrisonburg, VA 22801 540-433-9191 - Switchboard 540-433- 4028 - Fax 540-433-2700 - News Fax

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