4 days a week

4 days a week
CLARKSTON - With Governor Christine Gregoire proposing widespread cuts, the state is looking at places to save money, including the public schools.

Many businesses offer employees a four-day week option. Now schools are looking into it as a possible way to save some green while going green.

“When you take a look at making the cuts that we are going to have to make to meet the governor's budget, we are looking at a number of different options," said Director of Curriculum for the Clarkston School District Eric Price. "A four-day week is probably going to be further down the line for us, we aren't there yet."

But some school districts are ready to pursue the option. Four lawmakers from Yakima proposed legislation this week that would allow schools to waive the mandated 180 day year in exchange for fewer days in school but equal hours.

"We would have some savings and some of that savings would be in facilities, transportation, but really when we take a look at it and we pencil it out, we are not seeing a ton of savings there," said Price. "On the negative side of it, we have an extended day for kids, for primary kids, that's a tough day, that's a long day."

And it is those long days that have some local students saying this option is not for them.

"I think it's hard enough to make kids go to periods one through six already and to make them go to school two hours longer would be even harder," said CHS senior Katie Hoffman. "I know that by the time I get to my 6th hour, I am kind of dozing off, especially with something boring like history and math, then it's really hard."

"I don't think I'd be able to pay attention at all," said CHS sophomore Karlee Kirking.

Students said they also are concerned about how the switch would affect sports.

“I think we should stay with five days of school a week because if you had three days a week of weekend then kids might make mad decisions and then sports teams would not be able to go because they would get in trouble and it's just not a good idea," said CHS senior Gavin Lejameyer.

"I am a sports person and it would just clash terribly with the practices and the games against Lewiston and Moscow, so it would be kind of hard," said Kirking.

But some Bantams said they like the idea.

"From an educational standpoint but also a energy standpoint, I think it's a lot more cost effective then a five day school week," said CHS junior Nick Carey.

"I think it's a good thing to consider, I think a lot of kids in high school would be excited about this so that you could have all that extra time, like three day weekends," said CHS junior Dustin McConnell.

Price said the extra day off would mean some families would have to pay for daycare for that day, so he doesn't see plan as a good option.

"For some districts they might have one working parent, that might be a better community decision for them, but we are just trying to look at it for our community and is it best for our community and when we take a look at it right now, we are really not there, we don't think it would be a healthy decision," said Price.