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Why are some school districts in Texas turning to a 4-day week?

A teacher shortage has districts getting creative to attract educators.

HOUSTON — Districts across the country are dealing with teacher shortages. As a result, some are turning to a four-day school week.

According to the Wall Street Journal, the shorter week is despite objections from parents concerned about childcare and some evidence of lower test scores.

It reports this year, at least 800 districts have made the switch nationwide, including some here in Texas.

Teacher retention

The motivation for the change is the belief that teachers will be more likely to stay with a school that has a shortened schedule. The results have been mixed.

A pre-pandemic study by the Rand Corporation found that students on a four-day school week had slower gains in math and reading scores than their counterparts going five days a week.

4-day school week for Texas districts

According to the Star-Telegram, there are 41 districts in Texas that have shifted to a shorter week. Twenty-seven made that shift this school year.

Most of the districts making the change are smaller and in more rural areas. According to the Texas Tribune, going to a four-day week became popular with those districts as a way to compete with the larger districts offering larger paychecks.

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