Four Day School Weeks Are The New Normal In Oklahoma (HBO)

One third of all Oklahoma school districts are now operating on a four-day schedule.

Oklahoma has cut education funding per student more than any other state over the last 8 years. In the past, Oklahoma has compensated for funding cuts with oil revenue, but oil prices have declined in recent years.

“Teachers have been reluctant,” principal Nathan Gray told VICE News correspondent Roberto Ferdman. “You’re now forced to cover all the curriculum, all the testing that’s required by the state, in four days.”

In Oklahoma’s Noble school district, all schools are closed on Fridays to save money, one principal oversees two elementary schools to avoid hiring a second administrator, and the district superintendent also works bus duty.

Gray says a four-day school week isn’t what anyone wanted, but it was the only way to cope with the cuts. “This was our best way to survive.”

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34 thoughts on “Four Day School Weeks Are The New Normal In Oklahoma (HBO)

  1. How does this work for households that don't have a stay at home parent, or a parent that works part-time and can supervise their kids on a Friday?

    When I was in elementary school, the teacher PD days when the school was closed (about 4 days per year) was a massive pain in the ass for my parents. Both my folks worked full-time and if we weren't in school my mother would have to drop us off at the local YMCA for a day camp, which was expensive, or find private childcare for us. For my brother and I the day camp was OKish and being babysat was downright boring because the daycare was set up for pre-school kids. Beyond that, it would have been a major financial burden for my parents to have to do this every week.

    I really don't understand why the US puts such a low value on public education. I think we can all acknowledge that the future of the well paid employment market is focused on specialized skills, which all require a solid foundational elementary school education. Regardless of what sort of work you wish to pursue, be it trades, professional occupations or academia, everyone needs to have base literacy and numeracy skills which are initially developed in childhood. Cutting public education is counterproductive in the long term for average, or below average income families. The only way you can guarantee your kid will get a solid foundational education is if you send them to private school.

  2. I agree completely with either shortened school days, or shortened weeks. However, traditionally schools in the US are deficient when compared with international standards. Many students leave high school with basic skills to survive, insufficient math to pass GED and college entrance exams, inability to spell even most simple words, faulty grammar, nill language skills, and absolutely no knowledge of geography. Topics I for one consider basic survival skills. What does the average school in the US prepare their students for? I don't know! And parents are complaining that their children bring too much homework home. Pity the schools, pitty the school teachers, pity the parents, pity the children that have to grow up in illiteracy and ignorance, but first and foremost pity this country, once believed to be great, and its standing in the world of economy and trade. With those go all respect, without a solid economy comes absolute poverty. It's not about the numbers, it's about the quality.

  3. Not one comment about the quality of education. What grades specifically are on the block? Is this just Republicans refusing to pay for what they perceive as Day Care? For anyone who cares, these formative years are the most important, other countries spend a lot of time, money and effort on getting this part right, because it makes for better, (and cheaper) citizens. Not in America, education bad, ignorance good, for Republicans.
    Nor does anyone want to mention that one of the worst, scurvy serving, pay-off able, corporate whores around was the last governor. That Oklahomans could elect Scott Pruitt to be anything other than locked down in solitary, indicates just how mad with greed and "easy" money, they are. For some, not for all, of course.
    When I moved to 'bama (for two years) from Canada, I was surprised to learn that all of their last five governors did time for crimes committed in office. Then I looked next door at Louisiana, Mississippi and Georgia and realized, that the majority of governors are crooks to start. Don't expect good to come from bad, this is America, this is how it's done here. Say "uncle" when you've had enough. And on top of it all, Fat Donnie is bringing a whole new level of corruption and misguidance, to all of us.
    I'm too old for a revolution but I'll not tolerate much more of this. Climate Change requires the greatest, coordinated effort ever to even have a chance, of letting us live and we're starting with this. No chance. We're being forced to leave the party permanently, but we're taking half the life with us. Can't happen soon enough.

  4. It'd be great if the people we voted in cared more about education and would make it a priority. There's so much money wasted in the gov't, there's no excuse other than not educating a generation to be smart enough to vote these people out of office.

  5. Oh lol the price of oil came down and now they don’t have any monies. Oklahoma is a little Venezuela without the good foods and practical people. This is what happens when you don’t know how to do business. They have given their buddies a hand up so much and they themselves have benefited from preferential treatment and opportunity so much that they find themselves in jobs they are not qualified for and so they stay away from people and organizations they feel will expose or embarrass them. If run by a woman or black or native fugget about it.
    The straight white male cant do everything and shouldn’t have to do everything. But they are so greedy and so megalomaniacal so consumed with prideful arrogance, They can’t make even ONE decision to benefit their charges and not themselves.

  6. Well you reminded me of two things; The voice over artist that did the 'Coming soon to theaters' thing was on literally EVERY Disney VHS tape ever, and is still kickin' today. But I had a four hour day on wednesdays when I was in elementary school. This isn't new. Why are you making a video about it a year ago? Why weren't you drawing attention to this issue when I was a kid?

  7. Kids don’t need to be in school all week anyway. They’re kids you’re ruining their childhood. Teachers don’t cram like they act they spread it out to far and drag the school year out

  8. Let me remind you all that this westernized education teaches you ciriculium that isn't relevant with our economic and competitive market, have of these kids will either join the military or go to a 4 year scam school and upon being released will owe more than 100k in debt and will be forced to work in a hole in the wall retail management position where they will have to work half thier lives as a debt slave till the day they die. Now that is the truth, to escape this endless cycle you have choice A. Conform into the white/blue Collier work life B. Become an Entrepreneur C. Homelessness, three options is all you get welcome to prison planet hope you enjoy your stay future generations.

  9. We spend 53% of the tax money on the military and 6% on education… Maybe if we spent more on education we could figure out a much cheaper and efficient way to run the military.

  10. america put an end to this!!!education in america is slipping and has gotten horrible. people have become so lazy because they think their government is going to write them a check every month to pay their bills. i live in an area with just that. people failed on purpose so they can sit on welfare all day and do nothing but rob others. these schools have gone from good to horrible. no one even plans to go to college anymore because the min.wage hike just makes them believe get a straight lowest C's and you've got a job flipping burgers. everyone else is on five day weeks and having to work harder and these stupid libs are making america a shit hole. the rest of us didnt go to school and work as asses off to end up letting the next generation destroy the planet. with their purposeful stupidity . i hope all of you know the world and the government will not take care of you! you will be homeless.

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