Okla. School Board Member Says Hundreds Of Districts Would Be Impacted By 5-Day School Week

Monday, February 25th 2019, 5:38 pm
By: Dana Hertneky

A proposal in the legislature to force Oklahoma four-day school districts to go back to teaching five-days a week may impact half the districts in the state. 

Senate Bill 441, that passed out of committee last week, would change the requirement from 1080 hours a year that schools must be in session, to 180 days. Right now, according to the State Department of Education, there are only three school districts that meets that days requirement.

The Noble school district went to a four-day school week in the 2016-2017 school year in an attempt to save money. But since then, administrators say they've seen a lot of positives. Also, a recent study shows 81 percent of parents like having Friday's off. 

Annie Broom is one of those parents.

“We’ve tried to schedule all our doctors appointments for Fridays, we find museum days,” said Bloom.

The bill would exempt districts from switching from hours to days if the district's test scores are above average. So, depending on how that's calculated, Noble may not have to go back to a five-day week.

But school board member Erika Wright says hundreds of districts would be impacted, a majority that currently have five-day weeks.

“It was pretty astounding what I found,” said Wright.

Click here to read Wright’s full blog post.

Some of the biggest districts like Mid-Del, would have to add nine additional days, Oklahoma City would have to add four days and Tulsa would have to add 14 additional days.

“Remember there’s no additional funding to that,” said Wright.

It’s an equation Wright wonders if lawmakers even considered.

“Just expecting us to ride along on a talking point, and God forbid we find out later this is the effect on everybody across the state when we’re already in a crunch,” said Wright.

News 9 reached out to the bill’s author Sen. Marty Quinn, (R-Claremore) for clarification on this issue, but at air time had not heard back.