School district institutes three-day weekend to save energy costs

Now here’s one way to address growing energy and fuel costs that I doubt Oakland school officials have considered: Give everyone Mondays off!

Some 18 rural school districts have gone to a four-day week to help balance their budgets, according to the Star-Tribune in Minneapolis. The 700-student MACCRAY School District expects to save $85,000 per year in energy and transportation costs with its new schedule (8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Friday). 

Its superintendent told the Star Tribune reporter that he had been approached by the Albuquerque, New Mexico school district, and others, about the move.

The solution presents all kinds of other problems, of course, from sports practice to child care. And then there is the whole less-time-at-school thing, which the longer days don’t quite make up for.

Even if Oakland went to this extreme, I’m not sure how much money the schools would save. OUSD already pays little in transportation costs  — about $8 million a year for special education students — since most students take city buses to school (for now, anyway).

But since we’re fresh off a three-day weekend ourselves, I figured I’d raise the subject.

image from Conspirator’s site at flickr.com/creativecommons

Katy Murphy

Education reporter for the Oakland Tribune. Contact me at kmurphy@bayareanewsgroup.com.