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Texas Bill Would End 4-Day School Week

Anna ISD recently implemented the shortened week
Photo: Lopolo | Shutterstock

The Texas Senate is considering eliminating public schools' increasingly popular 4-day school week. Over the last year, school districts across the state, including in North Texas, considered or implemented a 4-day week to improve teacher retention. 

State Sen. Donna Campbel put forth Senate Bill 2368, which would end 4-day school weeks and mandate 5-day weeks for all public schools. Campbell reasoned that a shorter week can have negative impacts on both students and families, as families have to find childcare during the one day off.

​​If the bill passes the senate, schools would have to:
- Have 175 minimum instructional days during the year
- Include time for instruction, intermissions and recesses for students with a minimum of 75,600 minutes

SB 2368 would allow the commissioner of education to approve fewer instructional days or minutes for schools in cases of extreme weather situations that result in the closing of schools. 

The bill is still in committee and was heard on the senate floor on April 5, 2023.

Many schools began implementing the 4-day week to help with teacher retention, an ongoing issue, especially since the pandemic. Local Profile previously reported by March 2021, 42% of teachers said they’d considered leaving or retiring during the previous year and more than half of those teachers said it was because of COVID-19. 

In Collin County, Anna ISD recently approved moving to a four-day week for the upcoming 2023-24 school year. AISD said that the recently introduced change will be a three-year pilot.

The decision to implement the four-day instructional week came following a survey that the AISD school board conducted with the community and staff back in November 2022. The district says that the results of the survey showed 72% of parents and 87% of staff were in favor of switching to a four-day week.

In addition to having a survey, AISD also worked with various focus groups, attended a panel featuring numerous districts that already moved to four-day weeks, researched the pros and cons and met with district leadership to discuss the advantages and disadvantages of such a decision.

“School leadership expects the four-day week to increase student achievement with more opportunities for intervention, and help with teacher retention and recruitment,” said AISD in an official statement. 

If the bill passes through the committee, it will be voted on by the senate, the house and the governor and then passed into law.