Independent schools are seeing an increase in applications following the move to 4-day workweeks

INDEPENDENCE, Mo. – The shift to a four-day school week is already paying off in Independence, Missouri.

The school district says it’s seeing a record number of applications. This comes exactly one month after the school board approved the switch to a 4-day week for the coming autumn school year.

But there is some good news for the county State politicians are trying to make it harder for Missouri schools to transition to 4-day workweeks.

The main reason is that it affects everyone, not just students and staff.

A state official told FOX4 that the move to independence is hurting working-class families and sending inflation skyrocketing.

“The entire community will be affected because it reduces the time and hours people can work,” said State Rep. McMullen, R-Independence.

On Tuesday, McMullen plans to introduce a bill in direct response to the independence schools. It states that if a school board votes for a 4-day week, it must be voted on and approved by a majority of voters residing in that district.

“We’ve never seen an influx of applications like we’ve seen recently,” said Dale Herl, superintendent of Independence Schools.

The move comes as Independence Schools reported a record number of applications in the past three months.

“From October 1 to January 9 last year, we received a total of 91 applications,” said Herl. “This year we received 507 for the same period.

A 450% increase. Herl says they have already filled several positions and many applicants have expressed interest in the four-day week.

Among them are experienced teachers who left the district to either work elsewhere or be at home with their children.

Still, they’re struggling to attract bus drivers and support staff, a problem affecting schools across the US

“It shows that people want to work in a 4-day school,” Herl said. “This was about retaining and recruiting staff, both teachers and classified staff.”

“You know, what I find strange about it is that it’s there nothing about the families and the children‘ McMullen said in response. “Honestly, I think we could keep very good teachers and withdraw if we raise the pay.”

The bill will likely go to committee, where it will face multiple revisions.

FOX4 reached out to three other counties in the Kansas City area to see how many applications they were receiving. At the time of this writing, we have not received this information from any of them. Independent schools are seeing an increase in applications following the move to 4-day workweeks

Sarah Y. Kim

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