Illinois House Approves 4 Day School Week - News and Weather For The Quad Cities -

Illinois House Approves 4 Day School Week

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The Illinois house has passed a bill allowing schools to have 4-day weeks. The change would help struggling districts save money, when most are making major cuts. This is how much of a deficit local districts are dealing with. Rock Island-Milan $4.8 million. The Moline school district $6 million dollars. Part of the problem, Illinois funds around a 3rd of their budgets, and the state is 6 to 7 months behind. But parents say the cost too high.

"It doesn't seem like a good idea." "She needs to go to school. I'm not in agreement with it." "I think 5 days are better."

That was the response from every single parent we asked about a 4 day school week. Many say having so many days off would make child care arrangements incredibly difficult. "It would be very hard and it would be very expensive for parents who will have to pay for an extra day to have somebody watching their child." "You have to find somebody else to watch them and not everyone has family or friends that can do that."

The bill would allow school districts to make the decision. With the calendar approved by both the regional superintendent and state board of education. But parents think learning would suffer. "You would think if the children were only going 4 days a week you would lose consistency. It's hard for them to go on Monday and get used to it as it is, let alone having 3 days off a week."

The house version of the bill requires schools to schedule a minimum of 150 days per school year. Days would be tacked on at the beginning and end of the year. The school day could also be longer, in some cases students would be in the classroom for 10 hours. "It's hard enough for them to keep their attention span as it is. 10 hours seems too long." "I think it'll be too long of a day for the kids."

The state is trying to save money on transportation costs. But many believe this isn't the way to save money. "We're always putting our children last as far as education. I think we need to do something different, but I'm not sure what the answer is."

Now, Rock Island and Milan are not considering 4-day school weeks. However, a few districts in the QCA did consider the change. They decided against it, fearing it would be too disruptive to students education.

The bill still has to pass the senate, then Governor Quinn would have to approve it.