St. Louis Public Radio News
8:34 am
Thu February 26, 2009

Mo. House passes 4-day school week

Jefferson City, MO – The Missouri House has passed a bill that would allow school districts to switch to four-day weeks.

The bill was sponsored by State Representative Gayle Kingery (R, Poplar Bluff). He told fellow House members that allowing four-day weeks will enable poorer school districts to save money on operational costs.

"This has been proven effective in 17 states that are currently doing it...it has been a good tool, and all we want to do is offer this tool as an alternative to some districts that might be struggling," Kingery said.

Critics, including State Representative Will Krause (R, Raytown), said it would make life harder for both kids and parents.

"On Fridays, what are those kids going to do? We don't know...I mean, it's (possible) that they could be at home...it could be a latch-key situation where a parent that can't afford child care lets their child stay at home unattended all day on that extra day when they're having to go to work," Krause said.

Other opponents said the longer school days required by a shorter week would cause kids to get home after dark.

The legislation passed easily, 101-60, with support and opposition on both sides of the aisle. It now goes to the Missouri Senate.