2 Pennsylvania School Districts Weigh 4-Day Weeks

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Two Pennsylvania school districts are considering switching to a four-day week to save money.

The Coatesville Area School District in Chester County and the Warren County School District are considering four-day weeks for the entire school year as a way to prevent layoffs and program cuts. No other Pennsylvania districts have such a schedule.

Under the Coatesville plan, students in the middle and high schools would have their days extended 45 minutes. Elementary school students would get an extra 80 minutes. Coatesville superintendent Richard Como says the change would save his district $1.7 million per year.

Warren County school officials say such a move would save money by cutting the number of meals the district must serve and trimming transportation costs.

(© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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  • Rsv

    4 day work week for ALL nonessential (law enforcement and fire) federal, state and local government employees.

    • real

      exactly….it would have to be if this was every considered on any grand scale because what this article fails to think about is if the kids are home and most adults have a five day week..whos taking care of the kids on the off day ?

  • Chicago Guy

    One small legislative change would change a lot. Measure kids based on their own personal academic growth, not their peers. As a teacher, I want to be accountable for what each child learns during the time I have them! Many of my kids come to me 3 or 4 grade levels below where they should be. No problem. Measure them, educate them and measure them again.

    BTW, do you know that I am not allowed to grade students based on homework results? You see, it discriminates against non-traditional homes. It is an amazing system designed to keep students stupid!

    • Frederick

      The indocturnation centers (aka public schools) are institutions that are relagated to serve the Marxist take-over of the USA. The product that is produced by the centers is a fully indocturnated programed IDIOT, who, because of TOTAL DEPENDENCE on the master’s decrees, has little will to be independant and exercise his GOD GIVEN abilitie to act in the manner that would set him free of his ENSLAVEMENT! History reveals the facts of the prince(s) and the peasants, the rule of order, hundreds of years of the past. The teacher’s union and MARXIST ruling regime are in collusion.

  • Stu

    I live in Warren Co. If most here posting knew the area you would understand…they are trying to prevent LAYOFFS…our jobless rates keep falling and we want to keep it that way!

    • Andrew P.

      prevent layoffs at the student’s expense? and at the expense of the student’s family (who is going to take care of the child on this new “day off”)?

    • Jackie

      Why prevent layoffs? Sorry, but thanks to teachers unions and administrative bungling, its time to layoff. Period.

  • Joe America

    I have an idea. Cut the teachers pay and benefits by 20% but make them work the same hours. You get the same results. Let the teachers quit if they don’t like it, I bet you would get a lot of people applying for a teacher position.

    • joe mamma

      you’re stupid

      • Frederick

        It is apparent that the above comment epitomizes a brillant rejoinder.
        Yes Joe mamma , I was ‘schooled’ before the union take-over of AMERICA’s dolts. I am capable of rendering an intelligent comment with the use of a structured sentence having MORE than two words.
        Best regards. Know your short-falls .

    • Howard

      Obviously a comment made by a man who has no education. Good schools increase real estate values. If you want your home to maintain and increase in value, your schools had better be good. teacher bashers are ignorant to most things which improve the value of life.

      • alison

        well said. and for the renters out there… why wouldn’t you want your kid in a “good school” with a successful graduation rate?
        Invest in your future. $100 isn’t going to kill anyone but it WILL give your kids the opportunity to have gym class.

      • Frederick

        Howard, succinctly put: you are naive.

      • HIC

        Jackie . I never said to raise taxes. Why did you choose to go that direction? there are many ways to reduce spending that are not even considered by school districts mainly because of traditional ways of running their schools.

      • Jackie

        Howard: So, just raise taxes? If you raise taxes, real estate values will go down due to an over-burdened tax environment.

  • Adam

    Some of you are truly insane! For those of us who work (i.e. not on welfare, sitting home collecting free money), what are we supposed to do on that magical 5th day (Mon/Fri?)? Pay an additional cost for sitters? Leave them home unattended? Also, some of you geniuses who think that we should “embrace something new” or are “afraid of change” need your heads examined. What we need is an education system that works – why are liberals so afraid of the school voucher program? Because it will expose their brand of “education” (i.e. brainwashing/dumming down our kids) for what trash it really is. How about a system that pays our teachers well (but doesn’t subsidize their retirement 100%), holds them to a high standard (good teachers stay/bad teachers fired), provides them resources they need (books, computers) and reduces cost (why are we “busing” kids from far and wide to schools normally outside their assigned district anyway?)

    • guyfromcanadia

      Adam, please take your solid logic and valid arguments regarding childcare elsewhere. It seems a great number of people here feel that cutting teacher salaries is the only answer and it will motivate them. I’m sure if they went to work and their boss told them their salary was reduced it would motivate them to work twice as hard too. Salary cuts for everyone! YAY! (for those that require everything to be spelled out for them, this is sarcasm.)

    • Jackie

      This is supposed to pressure those who think like you into giving up more of your income in the form of taxes to pay for that 100% retirement, etc.

  • John

    Every time budgets get tight, government workers try to reward themselves with a three day weekend.

    • AK

      How about giving us a few more paid national holidays as well; one more per month will do nicely.

  • randyb

    The public schools should stop paying for extra curricular activities. Especially sports. This coming from an athlete. If kids want to participate in activities like sports, band, or other clubs. They need to do so on their own or their parents dime.

    Public schools should only be required to teach our kids not entertain them.

    • smokehouse56

      You’re a liar. You are no more an athlete than a mouse. Team and individual sports are part of education. I learned more in my athletic career in HS and college than most. A game and practice is a classroom. I’m not going into the particulars because you would not understand having never been on an athletic team.

      • AK

        Smokehouse56 is really an athletic supporter.

  • Rebecca

    There are LAWS that require students to go to school for a certain # of days/hours per year. This does not effect the actual TIME spent in school, only the number of times a school bus has to drive, and the number of days in a row that temperatures have to be kept at a comfortable level. The savings are ENERGY savings, not savings resulting from salary cuts.

    • John

      You are assuming the heat will be turned off on Fridays (it won’t unless you want broken water pipes). Either that, or you are assuming that electricity costs less on Thursday at 4PM than it does on Friday at 9AM.

  • sirandrew

    I would not be surprised if the teachers pay would not be reduced by 20%. They have a contract. The closing for one day a week will not affect the health benefits or pension amount.

    The best solution would be to have the option of taking the amount of the actual direct costs per child and issue vouchers for that amount allowing the parents to continue with the failed public schools or for private schools/

  • StaticKlingon

    If nearly half of school employees are administrators, that would be a good place to start. Give them minimum pay and demand maximum results. They are the “help” not the bosses. Teachers are not the cream of the crop academically speaking. Why do you think of them as anything but overpaid babysitters? They are not. If your child’s education is something you would trust to the incompetent, then you are already past hope. Take a STFU pill and go back to your Oprah show.

    • Greg R

      Listen, I’m with you and others on top-heavy districts, but please don’t exaggerate. There aren’t any districts anywhere where ‘half” the employees are administrators. More like 10% and usually less.

      • Frederick

        Greg R, exaggeration is usually used to make a ‘point’, unless you are an obamaite. If you are an obamaite,than exaggeration would be the euphemistic word for LIES. You hear/read it every day from the reigning regime.

      • Jackie

        Greg R: Not true. While half is overstated, 10% is under stated. Current administration costs (not headcount) at most school districts across the country run 20-30% of an overall budget.

  • Shocked

    I believe too many people are afraid of change! This suggestion and the close-minded negative reaction towards one example of how we have to alter our live styles is a prime example. People so far have gone after the Teachers Union and the School districts themselves for this suggestion when in fact we the taxpayers are just as guilty. We refuse to want to pay more except what we see fit to spend our hard earned money on…well I think that our future is a pretty damn good way to spend our money. Education is the key to this! I find it appalling we are so closed minded to see the benefits of education and we want to cut our youth short because of our shortcomings.

    • Ron Zaks

      Shocked where have you been the last 30 or 40 years? Education funding has doubled or tripled and the education results have decreased concurrently. Money has not attracted the brightest students into becoming teachers. Any university that has an education college, the students of same have the lowest test scores of all the colleges of that university. Teachers are professionals and as such do not need a union. Teaching is a dynamic enterprise and the teachers can not use a cookie cutter approach to education. This is where the union steps in and says no.

      • Shocked

        Well lets look at this I don’t hear parents pushing there children into becoming educators, instead its become a doctor or a lawyer why? Because these careers are known to be where the money is (PA average starting lawyer is $44,500 and average overall is $90,300). Lets face it you get what you pay for and well we are choosing to not pay very much! Teaching is not a lucrative career (starting salary $34,976 average over all $54,027 in PA). In a society were as a whole we have fallen behind in salary growth compared to cost of living increases who truly would want to knowingly go into something where you are already behind. And well the teachers salaries are only a portion of a school districts budget, have you forgotten about the cost to heat/cool the building the students sit in or the paper products used, fuel used to transport the students, the equipment needed (computers, printers, staples, pens, pencils, etc.) the list goes on forever but yet we are narrow minded to think that the only thing that makes up a school districts budget is the teachers and their salaries. So where have you been in the last 30-40 years while the cost of everything around us has gone up?

  • Jimmy 44

    Not sure how this new math works. Workers in school district are paid over $77,000,000. We reduce the work week by 20% and the school saves $1,700,000. ($77,000,000 x .2 = $16,400,000)

    • AK

      Look up what fixed and variable costs means. Then you might understand why your math model is incorrect. Jimmy, are you the product of our great public school system? Maybe you might think before you write next time.

    • real

      not if you include the fact they will be adding hours to days. i mean their math is bs but yours aint right either…read the article 2 times before commenting people you all suck at retaining and learning anything

      • Joe Dawson

        What’d you expected? The Department of Education learned me how to math.

    • Greg R

      Salaries don’t change. Teachers works same hours, students attend same hours. The savings come from 20% reduction in bussing and a reduction in heating/cooling, etc.

  • W M Sanders

    If closing schools for one day brings about a saving of 20% why not close schools 4days per week and accomplish an 80% savings.

  • NFLMark

    Why not just cut teacher salaries and benefits? It makes more sense than dumbing down school children. Our children need the education, too many of them are failing, now. Cut teacher salaries!!

    • Frederick

      NFL Mark, ‘cutting’ the salaries and benefits of teachers would(?) in all probability result in an extrapolation of a lower quality of teachers—-
      if that is possable. Cutting off one’s nose to spite its face is not feasable. More though and discussion is needed regarding this situation. Best regards.

    • John

      I think you may be on to something! Let’s cut the teachers’ pay! And while we’re at it, let’s cut the pay for police, firefighters, everyone! I mean, why not just cut their pay 50%? Think of all the money we’d save? Of course, there would be the tiny problem of having empty schools when all the teachers move on to jobs that pay people like they have a college degree, but don’t worry, I;m sure you’ll find plenty of educated people to take their places. And if you don’t, I’m sure you will be able to fill the positions with plenty of uneducated people instead. Think of it, just replace all the teachers with the people who work the drive-through at McDonalds, and we’d have money to burn!

    • Michael Alestra

      why stop at schools, lets go to a 4 day workweek too.

    • jess

      They are saying they will extend the minutes each day that the kids are there to make up for missing the 5th day. It’s not less school, just structured different.

      School board members should be let go before teachers salaries are cut. These schools should be able to run themselves. An d these board members are rakig in the dough.

      • Greg R

        Jess – do you know how silly you sound? It wouldn’t take but about 30 seconds of research to learn that board members are not paid. $0.

  • DC54

    It makes sense. With gas prices going up and having fueling tied into school funding it makes sense that schools will need to look at alternative education. We as Americans can’t think that because fuel prices go up schools are exempt from the hikes too.



  • Jay

    Several schools in Montana have been doing it for years. It saves more money than you can possibly believe. They go for a bit longer, and still go for 9 months. Sports happen on Friday, and kids don’t miss school for sports or field trips. Just think, the school’s electricity bill will be approximately 1/5 lower. They will spend 1/5 less on toilet paper (SERIOUSLY HAPPENS!). And all sorts of other places you would have never though you would save money.

  • FedUp!

    Why are we feeding school kids???!! What, food stamps don’t enable a parent to pack their kid an apple & a pb&j sandwich??!! OUTRAGEOUS!! So much of the free food PAID BY TAXPAYERS gets thrown away!!!

    • Frederick

      FedUp, Children require nourishment for normal physical/mental growth. Despite what the parents might do with the tax-payer handouts, we MUST ENSURE that the children receive VITAL nourishments!!!! Just as you are, they are our future. The consequence of denial now ,will bear bad tidings for our future. Think about that.

      • John

        That’s true, but what FedUp is getting at is that we are paying for it twice. I used to think that the schools should drop food service, but instead, the government should deduct that amount from the welfare/food stamp checks (or debit cards or whatever they’re using now). That way, the school food service could charge actual cost (like they do with the kids who don’t get welfare) and not lose so much money that could be better spent in classrooms.

        Either way, we shouldn’t be paying for their food twice!

  • AmericaDoesntNeedUnions

    This is just union strong-arming… This is how the union works, instead of saying times are tough, and we need to pull it out, and they want to cut resources, possibly pay us a bit less, we’ll only work 20% less as well… Abolish the teachers unions and these problems will go away, plain and simple.

    • DC54

      Hey, idiot, are you blind! They extend each day of the week to supplement the time lost on Friday. Kids are actually in school longer on a four day week. What would be worse four day weeks or having a Detroit on your hands. Detroit schools have a 60 student to 1 teacher ratio. This has nothing to do with Unions. I think Unions are stupid, yes, but this has nothing to do with Unions. All schools public or private are facing financial problems. Such ignorance.

      • NEO CON JOHN

        HEY DC, are you saying that philly kids are literate??If so you need a reality check.
        Stats clearly state that the only kids that are ready for collage upon graduation come from PRIVATE SCHOOLS AND HOME SCHOOLS.THE MAJORITY OF THE REST SIMPLY WANT TO BE GANGSTER RAPPERS!

  • Paula

    Just get rid of the school lunch program and have all of the kids pack their own lunches. Problem solved.

  • chris

    “The Coatesville Area School District in Chester County and the Warren County School District are considering year-round four-day weeks as a way to prevent layoffs and program cuts”

  • sheriff

    Bad idea, will breed drop outs & juvenile delinquency.

    • K

      But that’s already the case…

  • chris

    Am I understanding this correctly that they want the kids to go to school year round? 4 days a week, year round would be a great idea. I wish my school would go with this, I think the kids would retain what they learned if they didn’t have a whole summer to forget what they learned.

  • Guess Who

    Yeah, working parents will just love having to pay for daycare one day a week.

    • teaisstronger


      Will the students get food vouchers to use while school is closed. Food vouchers should be given that could be used in expensive restaurants that sever healthy food or sold on the street so the cash can be used to buy drugs.

      • AnneMarie

        Again, ‘teaisstronger,’ quit making Tea Partiers look bad. No one said anything about school vouchers. Crimeny!

  • Laura Bogan

    I don’t live in PA, but I think this is horrible. Our children need more of an education, not less. Also, what does this mean for the parents that work during the week? In this economy, are they supposed to pay for care that day their children are not in school? Hopefully this doesn’t go anywhere because it would be a devastating concept to spread…

    • teaisstronger


      The kids will receive 4 days of “concentrated” education that will actually be equivalent to 7 days of regular education. Also, every student can be given their very own expensive laptop or iPod so they can keep current on their education concentrate.

  • Ann

    The kids will just hang around at home for three days each week, learning nothing, making no progress. Why bother with school at all? If you just want to save money, shut the schools down. Who needs an education?

    • John

      All joking aside, just watch the crime rate go up on Fridays. This is the reality of a 4-day week. Kids do not do well unsupervised for a whole day.

    • teaisstronger


      These kids will be practicing their FLASH MOB tactics so they can converge on those few Box Stores and Exclusive Department stores that still remain in “Brotherly Love.” That fifth day of no school could be called “Grabbing Day.”

      • DC54

        Wow, that’s not prejudice. You just summed up all of PA students. From K-12th grade. It does give a funny mental picture. Watching Kindergarten students steal from malls. Is this what the Tea Party represents? Prejudice and stereotyping. I was really looking into Tea Party values but I don’t like what I’m seeing.

    • Doug Glantz

      I agree.

      Shut the schools down.

      Parents then would have the authority to determine what is best for their children’s education.

      • Michael Alestra

        i really hope this is sarcasm. Lack of parenting is the problem now and you want to give them more control over the kids education?

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