4 Day School Week

The public school board in Fort McMurray is considering moving to a 4 day school week. The board faces a large deficit, and this would provide significant savings. The 4 school days would be extended, to ensure that students don't lose out on instructional time.
This proposal is quite contentious. It has been criticized by the provincial New Democrats because it would cut paycheques for bus drivers and also introduce new childcare costs for some parents. According to a Times Colonist article about this, parents are generally opposed to this proposal. There are also questions about how a 3 day weekend would affect student retention of information, and how it would prepare them for the working world.
The provincial government has emphasized that it is up to the school board to make this decision, and we think that that is the right approach from their end. School boards can be more responsive to parents when it comes to individual local issues, so giving them flexibility makes sense.
Changes at the school board level should always be responsive to the direction of parents. Perhaps one way for the school board in Fort McMurray to start addressing their deficit problem is to implement a 4 day school week in some schools, if parents at that school support the idea. Give people choice between a 4 and a 5 day school week, then measure and compare results. This would be better than changing the system wholesale all at once, it would provide more choice, and it would introduce some savings.