Pennsylvania Department Of Education Open To Four-Day School Weeks

HARRISBURG (CBS) – A spokesman for the Pennsylvania Department of Education says state officials are open to the idea of four-day weeks in classrooms as school districts look for ways to save money.

It is not exactly a trend yet. Only two districts, including Keystone Oaks in Allegheny County, have applied for permission to do it. A few others, including in Coatesville in Chester County, have considered or are considering four-day school weeks.

However, Tim Eller, spokesman for the Pennsylvania Department of Education, says interested districts will find state officials receptive.

“They support school districts looking at any way to be innovative, to reduce costs. And if that includes a four-day week, that would obviously be something that the PDE would look favorably upon,” Eller said.

A spokesman for the state’s largest teachers union says the union has concerns about lengthening school days to create shorter weeks, but believes it could be worked out. In Coatesville, an official says concerns about pension implications have caused the district to drop consideration of the idea for now.

Reported by Tony Romeo, KYW Newsradio 1060

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  • Dan

    As I am reading these comments, it souonds like most of you have not spent anytime in a classroom. Therefore, you do not know what goes on during the day in most of the schools. The amount of disrespect and lack of effort from both the students and parents would blow your mind. Then we have to deal with adminstrations that do not do anything to support the teachers. Does anybody know how many assults do not get reported? A lot. Why? Because principals do not want to report them because the district will repremand them for not having a safe school. Then every day after putting up with all the BS, we need to bring the work home. That’s time away from our family. I am sure if you would add up the hours we spend at home doing work, people would see how stressful and draining it is.

    Add to the mix all of the times students do not come to school prepared. But they have their cell phone and ipods. Throw in dealing with the parents who do not give a you know what about their kid’s education. Never see them at back to school night or report card conferences. But when the student is not graduating they are pounding on the school doors and want blood.

    I have been teaching for 16 years and just as I thought I have seenit all…I have not. It takes a special kind of person to put up with what we do. Unless you have walked in our shoes, I suggest you keep quiet and take a long look in the mirror. If you have a complaint, take it up with management.

    • Mayday

      Kudos back atcha, Dan.

  • kristin

    In PA, it is a mandatory 180 day school year. I am sure that this would not change, unless the school days were lengthened. The way that this would save MILLIONS of dollars is the maintenance and utility costs!!!! Wouldn’t it make sense to save that money and put it towards the actual education of our children?!?!?! I am willing to consider any and every option to make that happen!!! Oh, and anyone who thinks that teacher’s do not deserve EVERY penny that they get has obviously never stepped inside of a classroom in the last 10-15 years! The teachers today have to do at least 5 jobs at the same time: teacher, parent, behavior specialist, sheep herder, and nurse for 30 kids all at the same time!!!

  • Dee

    How noble of the department of education to consider a four day working week as opposed to five.. and of course mentioning the concern of the teachers about extending the days that they are working.. I have never ever come across a more entitled profession in my life!! Didn’t they want their 401 k reimbursed too with the economic decline in the past???? Working now as it is only 180 days.. people they are already working part time!!! do the math.. get a calendar out and calculate hours worked days worked within a calendar year.
    Time for them to consider pay cuts and less entitlements that will straighten the budget out..
    I am a nurse and I know that I am reimbursed for what I actually work!!! That did include Christmas, Thanksgiving etc.


    • Mayday

      Let me see if I can get simple enough for you.
      As a nurse, you don’t take your work home, do you? If you work overtime, you get paid time and a half, yes?
      Teachers in Philadelphia spend their days in classrooms with up to 33 children. We teach, act as surrogate parents, behavior therapists, and cops. When do you think we grade papers? Formulate tests? Write lesson plans? Make parent phone calls? At home, dipface. After hours. On weekends. With no extra pay. Oh yah, and I buy backpacks, school clothes, and food for many of my students out of my exorbitant $60K a year.
      Sure hope I never encounter YOU in an ER. I’d be in fear for my life.
      I sure hope I don’t meet YOU in an ER. I’d be in fear of my life.

      • Dan

        Kudos to you Mayday!!!!

  • Tina Olson-Wilkins

    I don’t know, hmm? Some folks try to work during school hours, those workers pay taxes. I suppose it would work if part time employees were eligible for affordable healthcare and retirement benefits~like that would happen? Hmmm, guess it’s best to provide black top to for roads for America’s SUVs…the balance just shifted…

  • hadenoughuc

    Yeah That way we can give teacher more monies and even less days to work for it GRAND IDEA ( NOT)

    • Dan

      You need a reality check. Why don’t you try teaching in the city public schools. You might last a week.

  • Dee

    Fine if you can afford a Nanny or are a “stay at home” mom. But many people HAVE to work today to keep their households going. A four-day school week further punishes the disadvantaged children and their parents. Why can we always find money to wage war but not to fund education for our children–the hope for the future.

    • Lee Von Hart

      I agree, how on earth are Mom’s going to manage little kids off one weekday a week without supervision?? Geez all this to save the existing pension and health benefits of a bunch of 50 year old early retired teachers whom own vacation houses at the shore or in FL.

      • Mayday

        You have GOT to be joking, unless by “vacation house” you mean the tent I take to the state park every summer. Who exactly are you talking about here? Are you aware of the salary schedule of Philadelphia school district teachers? Look it up.

    • Mayday

      Oh here’s Nurse Ratched again. A four day school week will not punish the parents of the children I teach. These parents don’t work – at least, not in the sense you mean the word. If they did, their children would not be so “disadvantaged.” Actually, I agree that the school week should not be reduced to four days. These poor kids need as much time in a safe environment as they can get. And yes, safe is a relative term.

  • Natasha Nathaniwl

    I cannot believe that board administrations are actually considering cutting our childrens education. Why don’t they cut the their pay checks that would increase revenue and funds for our state. Its bad enough that America’s children are far behind China’s children when it comes to learning. The saying children are our future will become a myth, because they won’t know anything. In the city of philadelhia schools are closing or have to get a sponsor to stay open, because they children cannot even pass basic standardized testing, and thats with a 5 day school week. imagine how much worst they will do with only a f4 day school week. This State this country is ridiculous. does anyone not see the problems with these things. we all myself included sit back and watch as our country falls apart becasue of out dated philosophies, too many so called conservative republicans, an overall laziness on the part of the AMerican people. We pay the salaries of these Idiots that say stupid things and make outlandish decisions. pretty soon our so called great capitalistic society will be nothing more than a third world country, especially if the future of our country rest in the hands of uneducated children. Yes it is the parents who our the first teachers and have to aide in teacher their children but for the thing that parents don’t know or cannot explain or cannot teach because of other obligations such as work, that’s why we have teachers and schools, For those purposes. If this is allowed to pass pretty sonn Monday Wednesday and friday will be all the time kids spend in school. It it will be our fault for failing our children. And instead of creating ggreat men and women , will created children who’ll have as much knowledge about things asa a slug.

    • Ross

      Let’s hope they have far superior grammet and spelling then what you just demonstrated.

      • Ross


      • Natasha Nathaniel

        That is funny i just read your comment, maybe the next time you try to be insulting maybe you should learn how to spell first. This is why they should not cut down on education because it is already enough uneducated people in the this country like yourself. How can you try to insult someone’s grammar (that is how the word is spelled by the way) and you have none yourself.

    • Angry Revolutionary

      What outdated philosophies would they be? I have news for you we are, for the most part, a third world country. Also if your grammar is any indication of your education background you may want to reconsider your attack…

      • natasha nathaniel

        Obviously you are just as dumb as the last ignorant person who commented on my post. If you had one inclination of what a clue is, you would have not even bother posting a response to a comment that apparently you do not understand. I am sure that my educational background far extends the educational background that you seem to have. School don’t even have books and the books that they do have, aren’t even being published anymore because they are out dated. instead of commenting on something you seem to know nothing about why don’t you try to educate yourself.

  • poconshel

    Great rid of Administrators and bad school board members to start

    this sounds nice in theory but is the child going to continue getting poor education why not sit them in front of computers and home school..might actually learn more with your guidance than the history and geography lessons taught now

  • walt0816

    In my state, the school year is a MANDATORY 180 days.

    If it is the same in PA, how will changing from 5 days a week to 4 days a week save anything if the are going to be in school for the same number of days?

    I am sure the parents who have nannies or can afford day care will not care, but for parents who structure their time at work around their child’s school schedule will not like this one bit.

    • Poconoshel

      It would be nice if the money saved actually could help out the families but it won’t

  • Wendy Fogel Chambliss

    …And people wonder why some of us are for vouchers for private education and charter schools.

    • walt0816

      Private education and charter schools.. hahahaha.

      Sure vouchers, but on the condition that the schools getting the money from the vouchers operate under the same rules and regulations as the private schools.

      Starting with they have to accept all of the children who apply, not just the cream of the crop, but the discipline problems, the handicapped, the “special needs” kids too

      • Angry Revolutionary

        Why should they have to accept the discipline problems? They do nothing other than hold back children that want to learn.

  • PA Considers A Four-Day School Week | Support Your Local Gunfighter

    […] Awesome idea! And hey, while we’re at it, let’s just fold up our tents and declare the country dead. America was a nice idea, but we got careless with our money, so we’re closing up shop. A spokesman for the Pennsylvania Department of Education says state officials are open to the idea of four-day weeks in classrooms as school districts look for ways to save money. […]

  • Linda

    First generally teachers want to provide what is needed to help the students learn but their hands are tied and the districts are too top heavy with administrators. They can’t do their job alone parents have to be available to help their children.
    Second has any one looked around to see the ancestry of the top students these days.
    Finally, parents have to make education a priority. Sports are great for exercise but all too often the focus is in beating another team. How about putting all that effort into math, science. We are becoming less and lesss marketable

  • Koty

    All i see are problems for families. Where are the actual savings???

  • The Man

    I say fire all the loser politicians we could use that money for schools

  • Jim

    Why are we concerned about what unions think? They have done most of the damage in destroying the education in this country.

    • sheriff

      Jim, WRONG…..Lack of good parenting is front & center. Too many parents / parent, choose to drop their ignorant stupid kids off at school or better yet, bus transportation to take them to a warehouse to babysit them all day.

    • conrad

      Union’s care only about deepening their own pockets and the somewhat about teachers. they do not care one bit about the kids!! Sad :(

  • Joe

    If parents accept this asinine proposal without standing up for their children, this country is doomed. We need a six day, eleven month school year just be able to compete and these idiots want to shorten the school year.

    • conrad

      Going to school longer does not make the kids any more competent. It all has to do with what the kids put into in and how much parents are involved in their child’s education! That’s like saying we as a country need to work more to be more capable of keeping up with China!

  • Mike Anthony

    How is it that Philadelphia’s school budget is 3 billion plus per a year to educate 154,000 students half who don’t show up or know how to read or write. How is it that Queen Akerman is making more then the mayor or governor ? The school district in Philadelphia is a joke. Get back to basics which is education, not day care, not free meals, not after school baby sitting. Stop all of the feel good programs that do not work yet drain the tax payer

  • Stephanie Patterson

    Why balance the budget on the backs of students who need MORE learning just to keep up! You want to save a day a week in terms of money? REDUCE THE SALARIES OF OVER-PAID ADMINISTRATORS BY ONE DAY A WEEK!

  • willie

    Guess Arlene Ackerman needs & wants a three day weekend.

  • Tammy Budd

    Love this idea!!

  • sheriff

    No matter the alternatives, the kids will be the ones to suffer & as a nation we continue to fall further & further behind other nations. Philly teachers are abysmal.

    • Mayday

      Abysmal? Really? When is the last time you came into a Philly classroom? Afraid, Sheriff? Teachers go into *abysmal* environments every day and do heroic work with no resources and little support from students’ families. Thanks for your support :-)

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