Last modified: Wednesday, May 21, 2003
IU study shows little support for four-day school week in Indiana
A four-day school week for Indiana would not be likely to present significant cost savings, according to a report from the Indiana Education Policy Center at the IU School of Education in Bloomington.
Jonathan Plucker, director of the center and an IU associate professor of education, said, "The four-day school week is intuitively appealing at a time when Indiana faces major budget shortfalls, but this has not been implemented in larger rural, suburban or urban districts." The report is available on line at http://www.indiana.edu/~iepc/policy.html.
Plucker said, "Given the lack of research on the impact on student achievement and questions about the amount of money that would be saved, large-scale implementation in Indiana does not appear to be warranted at this time." He did say some evidence shows that it may be beneficial in small, rural districts.
The IU educator said finances are the main reason to question the success of a four-day school week because "substantial savings are unlikely without reducing personnel costs" and child care costs would increase.
The four-day plan is currently used primarily in the predominantly rural states of Arkansas, Colorado, Louisiana, New Mexico, Oregon, South Dakota and Wyoming and usually involves schools in small, rural communities, Plucker said.
Assisting Plucker with the report, which was presented to state officials earlier this year, was center research associate Molly Chamberlin. For more details, contact Plucker at 812-855-1240 or firstname.lastname@example.org.