the VOA Special English Education Report.
said last week, American schools are looking for ways to save money on bus
transportation because of high fuel prices. More children may have to walk,
ride their bikes or find other ways to get to school.
another effect of the high prices, they may not have to go to school as often.
schools, especially in rural areas, are changing to a four-day week. That means
longer days instead of the traditional Monday through Friday schedule.
in the fall, students in the Maccray school district in Minnesota will be in
school Tuesday through Friday. Each school day will be sixty-five minutes
Greg Schmidt says the district expects to save about sixty-five thousand
dollars a year in transportation costs. The district has about seven hundred
students living in an area of nine hundred square kilometers.
officials have approved the plan for three years. They may change their mind
before then if learning suffers.
Custer, South Dakota, students have been going to school Monday through
Thursday since nineteen ninety-five. Superintendent Tim Creal says the change
has saved an estimated one million dollars over just the past eight years.
sees other benefits, too. Students get more instructional time. And activities
that used to interfere with classes are now held on non-school days.
that in the future, the growth of online classes could make it possible to
require even fewer days in school. High fuel prices are driving college students
to take more online classes. And in some states, high school students can take
four-day school week sounds like a great idea for students and teachers. But
working parents may have to pay for child care for that fifth day. In agricultural
areas, though, it can mean an extra day of helping on the family ranch.
Mexico, the first school district changed to a four-day week in nineteen
seventy-four because of the Arab oil boycott. Now, seventeen out of eighty-nine
districts use it.
Arthur School District has just one hundred sixty students. Lake Arthur used a
four-day schedule for twelve years. But a few years ago it went back to five
Grossman heads the district. He says two studies there failed to show any real
educational improvement using the four-day week. And he says not much
instruction was taking place during the last hour of school, because teachers
and students were too tired.
And that's the VOA Special English Education
Report, written by Nancy Steinbach. I'm Steve Ember.