NEW CASTLE, Colo. (CBS4) – Hundreds of students in Colorado will be enjoying permanent three-day weekends after the Garfield School District Re-2 School Board has voted to cut the learning week down to four days.
The idea has been percolating for a few years, but as budget cuts have continued to affect district services, they finally decided to pull the trigger.
“We’re in our fourth year of budget cuts and it’s time to begin getting creative on how we can meet our fiduciary responsibilities and our budget cuts that continue to come from the state of Colorado,” a school official told CBS4.
Ten schools will be affected by the decision. Some parents say the budget situation has been so bad, they’re actually happy with the idea.
“I’d rather see this happen then see the school close,” elementary school parent Wendy Swan said.
“I’m kind of excited about it if it keeps me having a job,” elementary school parent Jessica Pich
The state says it’s the 80th district to go to a four-day week, but those numbers are kind of misleading. Only one other district has over 1,000 students. In Garfield County it will affect 4,700 students.
Among the many questions needing to be answered, the district has to decide which day students will have off of school.
“What employees work what hours and how much time, if any, are we adding to the school day to make sure we’re meeting our state-mandated contact hours. The work really starts now,” the school official said.
The district faces a budget shortfall of up to $2.2 million.
Many parents say if a mill levy increase was passed last year the district wouldn’t be in this predicament. Now the district says it has projections that will see nearly $1 million cut from future budgets as well.