Many schools nationwide are adopting four-day weeks, but the move has presented challenges for some parents.
Brandi Puente — a mother from Independence, Missouri, who teaches in nearby Kansas City — recently told the Associated Press (AP) that it is difficult to keep her children occupied since she works five days each week.
“I feel like I’m back in the COVID shutdown,” Puente stated.
In Texas, more than 70 school districts now operate on a four-day school week, ABC News reported Monday.
Oregon State University Associate Professor Paul Thompson said many schools are making the change because of teacher shortages.
He added, “Not all schools could consider this. States have to change their state laws around minimum instructional days and change to this equivalent minimum instructional hours per year.”
“So states that have made those changes in policy, those are the states where we’re starting to see four-day school weeks pop up,” Thompson added.
The recent trend has been mostly in the rural and western areas of the country.
“Districts cite cost savings and advantages for teacher recruitment, although some have questioned the effects on students who already missed out on significant learning during the pandemic,” the AP article read.
Surveys have found parents approve of the change, but those with younger children have doubts since they struggle to cover the cost of child care for the extra day.
In 2022, Breitbart News reported more parents were choosing to remove their children from government-run schools to find other options, one of which was homeschooling:
While public schools are currently awash in unprecedented federal funding through the Democrats’ coronavirus spending legislation, in the long term, funding cuts will accompany drops in enrollment, forcing school districts to compete for students whose families are now choosing private, religious, and homeschooling options during the school shutdowns and subsequent blocking of reopening by teachers’ unions.
A study from Stanford and AP found approximately 240,000 students in 21 states did not return to school after the coronavirus pandemic, Breitbart News reported in February.
“While private school and homeschooling enrollment surged during this same timeframe, these 240,000 students did not resume their studies elsewhere, but instead are unaccounted for,” the outlet said.