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.

Comments (19)
  1. Hope says:

    Ahhh…change is so difficult to live with. Personally, I see many benefits to this. I have to LOL at some of the comments such as republicans relying on an uneducated electorate, etc. All silliness. Education comes in many forms and in many ways and it does not need only come from a school setting. Schools, as wonderful as they can be, fail on many levels for many people as every institution does. I’m excited to see how this goes and perhaps with hope it may slow the institutionalization of people from craddle to grave and bring back a sense of what life is really about. Our current educational system is not all that old and it has done well on some front and not on others. It is good to see some thinking outside of the box. I wish you all the best of luck and hope to see wonderful things rise up out of this. Good luck!

  2. Repub-thinker says:

    School hours are mandated federally. There is no way they could reduce the school week but not increase the length of the school day. This is a great idea. It will save millions. As for teachers takign a pay cut… Teachers are one of the most underpaid jobs in America when compared to what they spend to becomne a teacher. Go ahead and say that unions are abd and teacehrs should suck it up. It just shows what an ingnoramus you are and why the republican party is now viewed across the globe as being made up of racist inbred cornpone rednecks from corn country. Do me a favor, stop breeding your making my political party into a joke with your nonsense.

  3. Pamela says:

    I don’t think a 4 day school week benefits anyone, let alone the kids. Cut stuff like busing. Close schools and move the kids to schools that are not full, consolidate! Cut some of the fat from the top and get rid of more admistration people. Parents need to participate more in their kids schooling and upbringing.

    1. Pamela says:

      And we need to fund schools differently. How about a 1 percent sales tax that everyone pays and goes towards schools!

  4. Michael HH says:

    I cannot believe the posts here.

    Capitalism is not about ‘free’ or ‘creating problems’ Jo, CKD the Republican Party believes in a smarter community that see’s Democrat pipe dreams as stupid plans.

    Let me start off with that fact that in States that went right to work, or where the Public Unions were made right to work… Union payments dropped (One State to 5%, another to 7%, and a Public Union Employee group at 12%)

    These Unions keep asking for outrageous amounts of benefits and provisions which are insane.

    Start with ending Union Monopolies and you have a good start.

    Second lowering taxes in some regions ends up INCREASING tax revenue due to more businesses and more hiring. But those who think this is stupid are the type who are uneducated or indoctrinated.

    I am a Candidate for State Representative and I cannot let lies and ignorance continue!

    1. Big AL says:

      Good point

  5. losing it says:

    I used to think a four day school week was great. I was WRONG!! The kids in my area are losing so much. We need to get back to the basics. Computers need to be taken out of elementary schools. why does a 5 yr. old need a computer??? Just voicing my opinion.

    1. Donna says:

      Computers are a necessity these days if we want to be competitive in the business world. The younger the child is to start learning, the better.

  6. Kim says:

    Don’t raise the taxes, stop paying trillions of dollars fighting overseas and help your own country. The children are our future.

  7. Bessie says:

    This is a great idea. I wish my district would do this. Go for longer hours the 4 days and you can get so much more accomplished. The day wouldn’t be broken up as much. Less money for the busses and electric bill. I like it.

    1. Donna says:

      Yes, the teachers are on salary but the schools employ many others who are not, bus drivers, cafeteria workers, janitorial staff, office workers who all work a longer day than the actual time students are there – it would cut back on the amount of hours they are working thus saving the district additional funds in addition to utility costs.

  8. Jo says:

    As we all know, capitalism and free market dictate that private sector employees work for free. Oh wait, they don’t? And other public employees? They don’t either? Then why expect that of teachers? No rationale? Then act rationally and support your teachers!

  9. CKD says:

    Republicans win with an uneducated electorate. Do us all a favor. Raise your taxes to properly pay for the kids educations of the kids you are having. This is a travesty and is a complete disservice to the future of our country. We should be increasing the amount of time kids are in school, now lowering it.

    1. Kdon says:

      How can you blame this on Republicans? What I see here is the teachers will NOT take any consesions (Union puppets)? When was the last time that teachers have taken pay cuts? Let them take hits like the rest ao us and pay a portion of there own benifits and retirement .I know it’s for the children, right. Also an over inflated budget. Let’s get back to basics! and reality! Teachers have been spoiled for way to long. WELCOME TO THE REAL WORLD!!!!!!!!!!

      1. Kathy says:

        Teachers often buy supplies, donate to fund raisers, help needy students, pay for continuing education, and do without pay increases. In fact many districts have already cut salaries more than once. When did teachers becpme the bad guys?

    2. Jen K says:

      This doesn’t decrease the amount of time that kids will be in school, just redistributes it. They will have a slightly longer school day, four days a week. Then they will probably not have any of those “superintendent’s days”, as those would simply be scheduled on the day of the week that the kids are not there. The number of hours that school has to be in session is mandated by the state, but school districts have the discretion to decide when those hours will be. They are far from the first to implement this type of schedule, which should save millions in fuel, maintenance, and wages for bussing.

      1. Jason J says:

        The article does not state for sure that the hours will definitely be redistributed. Even if they are redistributed how will this lessen the financial strain? Teachers are still salaried are they not? It may save on fuel for the buses but i’m not sure what else.

  10. BeKah says:

    If you think a four-day school week is the answer to financial bleeding you don’t understand basic economics. Parents could get more involved by donating time. Teachers could take a bit less in benefits and union perks. But instead we sacrifice the children. The repercussions on this cutback won’t be felt until these kids try to find jobs. And what’s the plan the next time the school district is faced with budget cuts?

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