Four day school week considered by Richmond County school board member

Richmond County school board Vice President Alex Howard told members of a school transportation council today that a four-day school week should be considered.

"We've got to think outside of the box with furlough days," he said in the meeting after asking how much could be saved in transportation costs going to such a schedule.

Howard was told that school officials a few months ago conducted a study and determined one day's savings in transportation costs would be about $4,300.

Howard said he'll be looking at what other departments might save as well in being closed an extra day in the week. In such a schedule, students and workers would extend their four days on to make up for a fifth day off.

Howard said the idea would be to offset some of a state funding reduction that recently came with three more furlough days recommended by the governor's office. Those three days represent about $1.5 million and could be avoided if the school system could find the money elsewhere.

Howard said after today's meeting that he'd like to present the four-day school week idea at the board's next full meeting, adding "We need to get on it quick."

He said that if approved, the four-day week could serve as a test model for the rest of this school year and if proven successful could be used to save on costs next year, when even more state cuts are expected.

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