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Central Texas schools say "no" to shorter school weeks

The Texas Tribunes reported that some Texas schools are losing teachers to schools that provide four day work weeks. This is not the case for Central Texas schools.

SALADO, Texas — Some Texas schools are throwing away five day work weeks to attract more teachers. The Texas Tribune reported that it's those schools who have kept to a normal schedule that are losing their teachers.

Schools in Central Texas, like Salado ISD and Moody ISD said they will not follow this trend.

"Instructional regression across weekends is definitely a thing, so that becomes an issue, besides the fact the kids come to school for a lot more reasons than just education," Moody ISD Superintendent, Andrew Miller, said.

Miller added that if students lost their Fridays, that would be one less day they'd be able to receive a place to go to for food, air-conditioning and more.

Michael Novotny, the Superintendent of Salado ISD noted that the schedule they have now works well, and cutting back a day could impact students and parents.

"The downside in terms of childcare for working parents for me really outweighs the benefits of a four day work week," Novotny said.

Novotny added that his students probably wouldn't even get four days off if they were to move to a shorter week. He noted that most of them have extracurriculars that would have them at the school on Fridays anyways.

"There's practice fives days a week and I'm sure those coaches and those participants would still be practicing five days a week," Novotny said. "So that one day a week wouldn't get them out of school fully."

Both Superintendents said they would never move to a shortened week schedule, and they don't know of any districts in the area that are either.

They both agreed that any kind of move like this is one that benefits the faculty and staff, more than the students, adding that they don't need to push an incentive like this one to keep their teachers around.

"In Moody, teachers are only scheduled to work 182 days, so we pay them for 187, even though they only work 182," Miller said, "That's a good example of an incentive that doesn't compromise instructional days."

Miller added that teachers can receive free lunch and are also given competitive pay.

Novotny said their district always offers competitive pay and a positive work environment.

"We have a great culture and environment here in our district," Novotny said. "Employees enjoy working with kids, we have great kids and a great community, so that's a real selling point."

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