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Education

Wichita Public Schools Board: No Four-Day Week, For Now

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Wichita Public Schools
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The Board of Education for Wichita Public Schools decided last night that the district will stop discussions about going to a four-day school week next school year.

In light of budget shortfalls and looming cuts to public education from the state, Wichita Public Schools needs to decrease expenditures. Going to a four-day school week would save anywhere from $5 to 6 million, but board members said there are too many complications that could come as a result of the change.

District CFO Jim Freeman says decreasing the number of days in the school week would mean increasing the number of hours students spend at school each day.

“And when you project that onto our current timeline, students that start school at 9 o'clock wouldn't get out until 5:40," he said.

Other complications include the availability of childcare for the extra day off and issues with scheduling school activities. Board members may consider the idea again next year. Freeman says the process would involve engagement with the community.

Other efforts to stabilize the budget include changes to bus routes and adding more time to the school day. Wichita teachers union leaders have urged school board members to consider trimming district-level administrators.

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Follow Abigail Wilson on Twitter @AbigailKMUW.

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