Friday, June 6, 2008

Fuel Prices, School Buses, and 4-Day Weeks?

Its every child’s dream, a four-day school week. Why are schools considering this change over in their schedules? Simple. Money.

The cost of living is increasing every day. Inflation is hitting our grocery stores, gas pumps, and wallets. With the increase in everyday items, the schools are also feeling the pinch in budgeting their money wisely. As a result, items get cut from the budget, things get rearranged, and things tend to go from bad to worse. The solution? School weeks that are only 4 days long. Recently, this concept is becoming more and more attractive to school districts.

Across America, some school districts are considering this alternative to the budget problems.

This is not a new concept either, some districts considered this as a solution to the budget problems in the late 90’s.

Due to the increase in fuel prices, school districts are left scrambling to find money to run their School Buses. Many districts are struggling to finish out the current school year. Others are considering what to do for the 2008-2009 school year. Many districts are seeking alternatives, such as extending the distance students have to walk to school, eliminating some bus routes altogether in favor of a “walking school bus”, and considering the 4-day school week as listed above.

I am in favor of this alternative 4-day school week. The benefits that have been outlined by other school districts look promising. First off, there is the convenience of having a single weekday to schedule all those appointments. Secondly, attendance has been projected to increase due to the ability to schedule appointments on the “off” day – some school districts that have implemented this 4-day school week system have proved this projection. Third, money is saved from the decrease in the use of school buses, and decrease in the need to heat and cool schools. Lastly, the ability of schools to provide extra time for tutoring, sports, and other academic needs is increased with the flexibility of the weekday available, it also provides for the further development of staff reducing the need to have “staff only workdays”.

Financially Strapped,

The Bus Driver

No comments: