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4-day school week impacts almost 900 school districts nationwide

What a 4-day school week means for teachers, students and families
What a 4-day school week means for teachers, students and families 01:54

(CBS) --  With back-to-school season approaching, some school districts will be returning with a shortened 4-day school week.

The policy was adopted by 876 school districts across 26 states, according to the Oregon State University Four-Day School Week Policy Team, which is up from 650 districts in 2020.


The trend was favored by larger school districts over smaller, more rural districts.

"Right now, there's not good evidence on the academic impact of the four-day school week," said Aaron Pallas, a professor at Teachers College at Columbia University.

One of the districts is Independence School District in Independence, Missouri. This was the largest district in the state to make this change.

Independence School District superintendent, Dr. Dale Herl, said this Tuesday through Friday schedule will add 35 minutes onto each day, making the total class time almost the same. Fifth-day childcare will be offered to families for $30 a day.

One noticeable impact was the teacher shortage.

"The number of teacher applications that we've received have gone up more than 4-fold," Herl said. "I think this really needs to lead to a bigger discussion nationwide about, you know, what are we going to do to support the teaching profession."

Pallas argued that there are better ways to handle the shortage.

"The best way is to pay them better. And Missouri as a state ranks basically last, next to last, in terms of teacher salaries," Pallas said. 

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