April 12, 2023- Texas legislation has a proposed bill that could overturn the current four-day school weeks seen throughout the state of Texas. This bill could cause the several school districts who have already converted to the four-day week system to return to the previous five day week.
Several Texas School districts have changed their schedules to allow for a four-day school week, including Sulphur Bluff Independent School Distrcit. Rains County has already voted and approved a four-day week to begin next school year. The idea of a four-day school week was introduced as a means to attract teachers to the districts to fill the lack of staff left by the COVID-19 pandemic. To learn more about the four-day school week and to see some districts that will be affected by this change read: Texas School Districts Switching To Four Day School Weeks.
Senate Bill 2368 authored by New Braunfels Republican state Sen. Donna Campbell, requires a minimum of 175 instructional days per school year and at least 75,600 minutes of operation, including time allocated for instruction, intermissions and recesses for students. A four-day school week typically has 144 school days.
Several parents and teachers are outraged by the idea of the bill being passed, some parents stating that due to the shortage of teachers four-day school weeks could bring in potential teachers.
A national Rand Corporation report that found student outcomes were negatively impacted, stating that “the test scores for (four-day school week) districts improved, but did so more slowly than they would have if the same schools had maintained a (five-day school week).”
Senate Bill 2368 is currently in committee and has not yet been presented to the Texas Senate for a vote.