Gov. Lujan Grisham is seemingly hell-bent on stopping school districts in New Mexico from operating on a four day week. She specifically called out these districts in her State of the State address as well and has put $100 million in her budget to ensure ALL New Mexico districts embrace a 5 day week.
Just to be crystal clear, 4 day weeks don’t mean less time in school. New Mexico students have to be in their classrooms for a set amount of time.
Superintendent Gregg Klinginsmith said with the district being tucked halfway between St. Louis and Columbia it faces unique challenges.
“I wish this was a story about how a rural school district is able to pay teachers $100,000 a year, and we’re paying them what they’re worth and that sort of thing, but we just don’t have that revenue,” he said.
Since they don’t have the money, Klinginsmith said their bargaining chip for keeping employees is time.
“We want to retain our best teachers and attract the best teachers and so the four-day school weeks has definitely helped us do that,” he said.
The district is currently in their fifth year using this method.
According to Klinginsmith, they have seen teacher retention immensely improve, but they’re not the only ones it’s benefitting.
“We saw a drastic decrease in student discipline, and we know that discipline is a major disruption to learning,” he said.
Here is another article and there are plenty more where that came from. We’re not saying every school in New Mexico should have a 4 day school week. What we ARE saying is that spending $100 million to force schools to comply with 5 day school weeks is exactly the kind of top-down control that has failed our State and kids.
Missouri did a study on the four day school week issue and found “overall, the four-day schedule had no statistically significant effect on either academic achievement or building growth.”
On the other hand a survey of elementary school parents found that parents overwhelmingly preferred a 4 day school week: