Oklahoma schools shorten week to 4 days to save money

Oklahoma teachers are among the lowest paid in the U.S. Now many schools in the state have shortened the school week to 4 days to save money and keep teachers happy without raising salaries.

Two-hundred and ten of the state's schools operate on a four-day schedule. But state superintendent of instruction, Joy Hofmeister, worries about the long-term impact on students. Oklahoma's public school system requires students to attend at least 180 days or 1,080 hours of school per year. Shorter weeks mean longer days which can range from 40 minutes to an hour more in some cases.

"We are losing valuable time to sustain momentum and grow," Hofmeister said. "Just extending more minutes to the day is not actually the same as having more days in the calendar year."

The average teaching salary in Oklahoma is the lowest of its neighbors. Teachers in nearby Texas make nearly $7,000 more. Following recent strikes in West Virginia, Oklahoma teachers are now debating a strike of their own.

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